Rising inflation plays spoilsport during Pongal festival

Coimbatore, Jan 15 (ANI): The skyrocketing prices of food articles soured the flavour of the Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore city.

The residents here were not pleased after they found that the prices of items for religious offerings had increased manifold.

Hamsaveni, a buyer said she had to pay a lot more for turmeric, which was available at a cheaper price earlier.

"We came to purchase sugarcane, turmeric and other vegetables for Pongal celebrations. Last year one bunch of turmeric was sold for Rs five or ten. Today, the same bunch of turmeric is sold for Rs 30 to 40. The costs of the other articles are also very high and unaffordable. The costs of all the vegetables are unbelievably high," she said.

The sellers also had to bear the brunt because of the rising inflation, as they received fewer goods due to losses caused by heavy rains in the state.

"Every year, we bought turmeric for brisk business during Pongal. Last year we brought 1,000 crates of turmeric and a bunch of 50 pieces of raw turmeric was sold for Rs 200 to 250. But this year due to high inflation, poor yield and heavy labour cost, price of the turmeric had also gone up," said Sivakumar, a turmeric seller.

"Today, we brought only 500 crates of turmeric and it cost of Rs 550 rupees per bunch of 50 pieces of turmeric," he added.

Meanwhile, Ramchandra, a vegetable seller said the arrival of goods for this Pongal has come down due to rising inflation.

" The main reason for this is the cost of transportation and labour is double the production cost. Last year, we received 25 loads of sugarcane, but this year we had received only eight loads and the cost of sugarcane is also high," said Ramchandra.

"A 15-piece bunch of sugarcane is costing Rs 300. Last year 20-piece bunch of turmeric was sold in this market for Rs 80, today it is sold for Rs 200," he added.nflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) shot up to 8.43 percent in December 2010 compared to 7.48 percent in November following a sharp spurt in prices of fruits, vegetables and spices. (ANI)

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