The auspicious festivals of Ramadan, Ugadi, Easter have lost their significance for the second consecutive year, in the state of Andhra Pradesh owing to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak added with the price rise of the daily essentials leading to either abandoning the celebrations or satisfying themselves with half celebrations.
Pandemic has created an everlasting impression on the people of Andhra Pradesh by making them lose their jobs, investments, leading towards closure of businesses, and loss of their livelihoods. A lot of people have also migrated back to their natives. People who are already suffering from pandemic are further burdened by the price rise due to the failure of the state in keeping a check on it. This is clearly evident in the Inflation report released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), The state of Andhra Pradesh stands 1st in the country in terms of inflation with figures touching a rate at 8.88%, far ahead of the national rate of 5.22%.
Lakshmi, a housewife in Visakhapatnam says, “If not for the children, who feel bad by comparing themselves to neighbors, there is no reason for us to celebrate the festival as just ¼ kg of tamarind is costing Rs. 60…imagine what we could purchase for Rs. 500 and how we could survive in this city paying huge rents etc.”
Karim, a Muslim tea stall owner of Vijayawada, laments the only god should help us survive this Ramzan season as already the stall is running at half the capacity prior to the pandemic, and with increased prices, how should I purchase fruits and dry fruits essentially needed for fasting…how can I convince my children that I am not capable of purchasing them clothes this Ramzan?
Following are the approximate prices of essential goods across time:
|Item||Price in May 2019||Price in April 2021|
If we draw a comparison between the prices prior to the formation of the current government and the current prices, the failure of the government is clearly visible. The rise in prices of essentials is further fueled by rising in the prices of petrol and diesel. The VAT on petrol and diesel is higher in the state compared to its neighbors. GOAP is also charging Rs. 4 as additional tax and Rs.1 as road cess on every litre of petrol and diesel sold. This rise has increased the price of the transportation of the essentials leading to rise in the price of the commodities burdening the common man.