Prices of essentials soar, authorities silent

Prices of almost all essential commodities have skyrocketed in Kashmir with people complaining that many items have simply become unaffordable.

“The chicken is sold at Rs 190/kg against the government fixed rate of Rs 110. This is simply loot,” said a customer in Safakadal area, here.

People accused the authorities of failing to regulate the price and doing nothing on the ground except issuing “assurances” in media.

“With checking squads invisible on the ground, the unscrupulous traders are having a field day,” people complained.

“A poor man cannot buy chicken at 190/kg. It is unaffordable for most of the people,” said Ghulam Muhammad.

Consumers complained that the prices of vegetables, fruits and milk have also gone sky-high amid the ongoing COVID19 lockdown.

“Mere market checks at few places for photo sessions or issuing press statements are eyewash. We need results on the ground,” consumers said.

Director, department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA), Bashir Ahmad Khan claimed checking teams were active on the ground and violators were brought to book.

“People can register complaints on 0194-2455019. We assure them that prompt action under law will follow,” he said.

He said chicken dealers have been asked to adhere to government fixed rates or face action. He said cases have been registered against many profiteers.

However, chicken dealers have their own tale to narrate. “Our input costs have increased manifold. The prices of both the day-old chick and feed have increased. Besides, the frequent closure of the highway is also escalating the prices of feed and day-old chick. The government is doing nothing to address these issues,” a poultry dealer said.

He said the poultry dealers cannot be blamed for the price hike. “The government must take a holistic view of the matter and then fix the rates,” he said.