Women hold protest demonstration
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, July 04 2010: Prices of essential commodities including petroleum products, which were hiked during the economic blockade on the National Highways, are yet to come down to normal rate even after a fortnight had already passed since the lifting of the 68 day-long blockade on June 18 last.

Meanwhile, a protest rally taken out in the streets of the heart of the city today by womenfolk under the banner of the All Manipur Nupi Marup drew the government's attention to the crying need for controlling the prices of the essential commodities.

According to the findings of independent survey in the Khwairamband market, prices of almost all the goods right from food items to eatables like snacks were found selling at much higher prices than the original prices.

Superfine and local rice which cost only Rs 14 to 17 per kg before the economic blockade are being sold at present at the rate of Rs 24 to 26 a kg, potato is being sold at Rs 28 per kg against the normal price of Rs 12, while onion at Rs 28 against its normal price of Rs 18 .

Prices of snacks packets for children are also sold at much higher rate.

For instance, Kurkuri which cost Rs 5 per packet is sold at Rs 7 .

Petroleum products like petrol, diesel and cooking gas are also available in blackmarket at much higher price even though authorised pumps remain closed all these days.

Petrol still costs Rs 100 a litre, diesel Rs 80 to 90 and cooking gas costs Rs 1000 to 1200 per refilled cylinder.

Most importantly, commonly use Urea fertilizers is selling at the rate of Rs 800 to 1000 per bag against the normal price of Rs 400 only despite government repeated promise of supplying at the government control rates.

On the other, hundreds of women took part in the rally organised by All Manipur Nupi Marup, a body of Women which a memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh drawing his attention to stop price hike and control of extortion activities on the national highways directly related with the hiking of the prices of essential commodities and disturbances in the safe passage of the vehicles among others.

They shouted "Don't kill poor people, control price hike, don't play politic on national highways, etc." during the demonstration rally that was marched on the streets round the Imphal city starting from Irawat Bhavan, Imphal at 11 am.

The rally marched in solidarity to the CPI's protest against price hike, started from yesterday, also demanded setting up and deployment of highway protection force and setting of a state commission for highways.

Making availability of petrol, diesel and cooking gas at subsidize rate also included among other demands.

Prices of all kinds of essential commodities including petroleum products are sky rocketing in Manipur even after the end of 68-day long ANSAM sponsored economic blockade on the national highways three week back, on June 18 .

M Sakhi, a leader who was among the representatives taking part in the submission of memorandum to the Chief Minister, speaking to reporters, demanded that government should immediately take up necessary measure to solve the highway problems and ensure available of all goods at reasonable prices.

She charged the traders and businessmen of hiding the goods items to sell at higher rate for their own sake of earning high profits taking advantage of the prevailing condition of the highways while claiming that goods are stocking in their godowns in plenty.

She also drew government attentions to penalize the traders for concealing the goods while people are suffering a lot.