Price of local rice beyond reach of many
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 02 2010: With the relatively cheaper imported rice no more available in Khwairamband Bazar, the price of the local rice has sky-rocketed, trigerring an adverse impact on the people, particularly the daily wage earners.

Talking to The Sangai Express, 55-year old Maipak Devi, who has been selling rice in Khwairamband Bazar for the last 30 years, said that she had never come cross such escalation in the price of rice in her life as a rice trader in Khwairamband Bazar.

As the imported rice varieties like Super Fine and Parmal are no more in the market, everyone is now after local rice varieties.

Following imposition of economic blockade along the National Highways by some Naga bodies in protest against the Government decision to go ahead and conduct the election to the Autonomous District Councils of the hill districts and the subsequent tension prevailing in the State over the proposed visit of NSCN (IM) general secretary Th Muivah to Manipur, the stock of essential commodities including rice, life saving drugs/medicines and petroleum products have run out in Manipur.

Though the State administration has lifted some of these essential commodities, imported rice varieties are no more available in the market today for the public to purchase.

Maipak Devi further informed that while imported rice was still available in the market, the rice of local rice was around Rs 21 or 22 per kg.

Had there been no tension in the State, the rate would have remained the same.

Increase in public demand for local rice in the absence of imported rice in the market and the hike in the fare of rice mills and transportation of rice to the market have led to escalation in the price of local rice, she observed, adding that as of now trading of rice is profitable.

''Earlier, it was difficult to sell even 5 to 10 kgs of rice in a day.

But now, 10 to 20 kgs of rice can be sold very easily'', Maipak disclosed.

Tompok, a daily wage earner, said that everyone has been talking about rise in the price of rice, but they have no option and have to shell out more money in buying rice.

He informed that at present local rice can be bought from shops at Rs 26 per kg and the superfine at Rs 27 per kg.

Meanwhile, Consumers' Club, Manipur today conducted a survey of the price rate of various commodities sold in the Khwairamband Bazar.

The survey team led by president of the Club Manglem came to the conclusion that imported rice varieties like Superfine and Parmal are not available in the market any more.