OTP price rise amid coronavirus; majority households paying more for less

By: |
September 11, 2020 1:25 PM

With the country receiving excessive rainfalls at some regions due to above normal monsoon this year and certain areas in the country reporting large-scale flooding, prices of daily essential items including vegetables have gone up.

CPI, Retail inflation rose to 6.93 per cent in July, mainly on account of higher prices of food items61% households are currently paying more than Rs 60 per kg for tomatoes, Rs 30 per kg for potatoes and Rs 25 per kg for onions.

With the country receiving excessive rainfalls at some regions due to above normal monsoon this year and certain areas in the country reporting large-scale flooding, prices of daily essential items including vegetables have gone up with a majority of households now spending more while getting less in comparison to pre COVID-19 times. “61% households are currently paying more than Rs 60 per kg for tomatoes, Rs 30 per kg for potatoes and Rs 25 per kg for onions,” a LocalCircles report said on Friday. With the monsoon now retreating, the meteorological department has called this season ‘normal to above normal’ and the country will receive more rainfalls in September.

“The extended rains have brought some bad news for the consumers and there have been reports of vegetable prices rising by as much as 50% in states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Chandigarh etc,” the report said. And it is not just about vegetables, consumers have also reported rising prices for essentials and groceries since the COVID-19 pandemic started. In a survey conducted by LocalCircles, nearly 40% respondents said that they paid Rs 70 or higher for tomatoes, Rs 35 or higher for potatoes and Rs 30 or higher for onions. 

73% households also said that they are getting less value for the same or more money spent, in comparison to pre COVID-19 times. Consumers were charged higher prices for essentials like vegetables as well as packaged products due to shortages in the markets due to the lockdown and panic buying during March and April.

While excessive rainfalls have played a hand in the steep price rise of vegetables, labour shortage and also an increase in transportation cost due to the higher diesel prices has also caused the same. The increase in daily essentials comes at a time when many have lost jobs and are experiencing a cut in earnings and wages. 21 million jobs have been lost till 31 August from the time the pandemic began, according to CMIE data. 

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