Amid pandemic, spike in prices of essential items makes life difficult for common people

The Covid-19 pandemic has left many with depleted economic resources and no supply of earnings. Now, in addition they should cope with a spike in prices of essential items comparable to edible oil and pulses. Across the nation, the story is similar.

Prices of kitchen items, aside from petrol and diesel, have skyrocketed through the second wave of the pandemic. In the final one 12 months, prices of essential meals items have elevated by 40 to 100 per cent. This is making it very difficult for households to make ends meet.

India Today’s journalists spoke to a number of households, wholesalers and consultants throughout totally different cities to know the bottom actuality of this subject.


Shalini Arora, a resident of Delhi, stated that earlier the rise in the price of gasoline and now the spike in prices of oil and pulses had made her kitchen finances go awry. “The government should curb the rise in prices of everyday items,” she stated.

While the worth of mustard oil was Rs 110 to 120 per kg final 12 months, the worth is now Rs 185 to 195 per kg. Refined oil is now being bought for Rs 150 to 165.

(Photo: Sushant)

According to Pradeep Jindal, president of the Pulses and Beans Importers Association, the worth of pulses has not risen a lot in the wholesale market. However, the retail market has seen a spike of 15 to twenty per cent in worth, he stated.

“The retail market is earning a profit of 70 per cent. Even today, pulses are priced at Rs 95 a kg in the wholesale market of Delhi. If the government wants to reduce inflation, the price of brands found in retail markets should be capped, just as the government imposed a cap on cost of testing during the pandemic,” Jindal acknowledged.

(Photo: Sushant)

Hemant Gupta, concerned in oil commerce in Delhi’s Naya Bazar, claimed that the worth of oil is growing as a consequence of a parallel worth rise in the worldwide market. One of the explanations for that is that China is shopping for 3 times its consumption of edible oil from different nations, he stated.


At the wholesale market in Patna, wholesaler Manoj Kumar defined that the worth of edible oil in India has spiked as a result of most of it comes from overseas. Due to international inflation, India too is going through excessive prices of oil.

“The main reason for the increase in oil prices is the decline in imports of palmolein oil from foreign countries. The demand for mustard oil continued to increase during the pandemic and this led to inflation. Soya bean oil also stopped coming from outside,” Kumar stated.

The worth of mustard oil in the wholesale market is between Rs 160 and Rs 192 per litre at current. Meanwhile, the worth of refined oil varies between Rs 155 and Rs 195 per litre.

(Photo: Rohit Kumar Singh)

According to Kumar, a spike of Rs 50 to 60 per litre of edible oil has been registered over the previous two months.

When it involves pulses, some wholesalers in Patna stated the spike in prices is because of the farmers’ agitation in Delhi.

“The increase in prices of pulses is due to the farmers’ agitation and also because of less supply from Madhya Pradesh. The cost of transportation has also doubled due to high cost of petrol and diesel,” acknowledged wholesaler Ashok Kumar.

The wholesalers consider that the prices of mustard and refined oil will fall in the final week of June or first week of July.


The pandemic-induced lockdown has left R Shukla and his household, residents of Dadar in Mumbai, with no alternative however to dip into their financial savings to make ends meet. With an increase in prices of essential items, “it is becoming impossible to manage”.

“My brother had a small business in Dadar. He had three employees. Due to the lockdown, his business was shut and now he just sits at home. We are forced to stay in a dilapidated building because we do not have the money to move to a new place. Throughout the lockdown, we have been dipping into our savings. On top of this, we are facing inflation. How will the middle class survive?” requested Shukla.

His spouse Sonita stated it has turn out to be difficult to handle the family finances. “Food grains, oil and spices are basic items needed every day. How much can you cut from daily use? The price of oil has skyrocketed,” she stated.

ALSO READ: Inflation: The cost of Covid control?

To add to this, Sonita’s mother-in-law Chandravati Shukla identified that the worth of onions and different greens are prone to enhance through the upcoming monsoon season.

Akshata Gadkari, a trainer, is in the same state of affairs. She is taking additional tuitions to make ends meet.

“I have stopped making a monthly budget because that adds to the stress. But a weekly budget is also hard to manage. There aren’t any new job opportunities or earning avenues. If price rise continues like this, what will we do?” she requested.

But the state of affairs is even worse for retired senior residents. Prakash Bhilare, 63 years of age, and his spouse Charushila reside in the suburban space of Dadar.

Prakash and Charushila Bhilare at their home in Dadar. (Photo: Pankaj Upadhyay)

“I cannot afford this price rise. My son lost his job in the travel industry during the lockdown. As a father, I have to look after my son. My savings are reducing and my son is unable to find a job. In this scenario, soon we won’t be able to afford our daily meals,” stated Prakash Bhilare.

His spouse Charushila acknowledged that she has been unable to sleep at evening. She stated, “Where is the relief for the middle class? Is the price hike justified right now when there have been job losses? Shouldn’t the government be taking care of the people in this hour of crisis?”

On the explanations for the worth rise, market professional Pankaj Jaiswal stated hoarding of meals grains has disturbed the availability and demand steadiness and resulted in inflation. He additionally acknowledged that oil prices had spiked as a consequence of India’s dependence on import of palm oil.

In phrases of what corrective measures must be taken by the federal government, Jaiswal stated, “The need of the hour is immediate action. Due to the pandemic and prolonged lockdowns, the immune system of the economy has weakened. There could well be an onslaught of economic black fungus soon. The government needs to set up an economic think tank comprising experts and not bureaucrats to devise solutions for the welfare of the common man.”


In Uttar Pradesh, the most important spike has been recorded in the worth of edible oil. The worth has nearly doubled in the open market since final 12 months.

To perceive the influence of this inflation, India Today’s crew spoke to the Upadhyay household in Lucknow about their expertise.

Mukesh Upadhyay, a major faculty trainer and father of three, stated the household is slicing down on all luxurious items and solely specializing in essential wants. He acknowledged that issues are getting robust for a center class household like his. After Covid-19, inflation has turn out to be their main concern. No pulses can be found for lower than Rs 100 per kg, for instance.

(Photo: Abhishek Mishra)

Upadhyay identified that aside from meals items, the worth of petrol and LPG has additionally skyrocketed. In Uttar Pradesh, the worth of petrol has crossed Rs 92 per litre and the worth of LPG has gone as much as round Rs 900 per cylinder.

His spouse Manjiri Upadhyay stated that it’s changing into difficult to run the home as a consequence of low earnings.

According to her, those that are hoarding and black advertising and marketing essential commodities are responsible for the spike in prices. “The government should act on such people as soon as possible,” she stated.

Meanwhile, their 14-year-old daughter stated that she too has reduce down on shopping for her favorite snack items and has switched to home-made snacks as a consequence of inflation.

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