The cost of living in Jammu and Kashmir is having much upward trend as the state’s inflation rate is much higher than the average all-India inflation making it the one of the most expensive states for a common man to live.
According to monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by the Central Statistics Office, the inflation rate in Jammu and Kashmir for the month of July is 6.16 percent as compared to all-India average of 4.17 percent year-on-year.
Experts attribute the higher inflation rate to the fact that J&K is import driven state where majority of the things are being imported from rest of the country. Besides, the sky rocketing fuel prices are also attributing to the rising inflation rate in J&K.
In Kashmir, a litre of petrol costs Rs 84.5 which is the highest ever rate. While as the state government has failed to make any intervention by way of reducing taxation on petroleum products which could have given breather to the inhabitants of the state.
Jammu and Kashmir annually imports goods worth Rs 40,000 crore which drains state’s economy.
Meanwhile the staggering inflation is taking its toll on the people of the state, who are facing brunt due to rising costs burning a hole in their pockets.
Kashmir Post spoke to few people from cross sections of the society to have their opinion about price rise and its impact in Kashmir valley.
Javid Ahmad, a government employee said that “prices of commodities have increased by over 50 percent in last five years. Infact working class people are failing to meet their ends despite pay revision,” he said that while inflation rate is more than 5 percent, government gives dearness allowance of only 2 to 3 percent.
Similarly students are also facing the pinch of the inflation and petroleum price rise.
“It definitely is making a hole in our pockets and eating away our pocket money,” said Waseem Ahmad, a class 12th student of Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Soura. He said that whatever money they get from parents is spend on making fuel payments.
While as the rising prices are making dent in the budget of commoners, it is affecting the business community too.
Chief spokesperson, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Farhan Kitab said that rising prices is not in the interest of anybody.
“It eats away business, affects savings and spending power of people,” he said adding that Kashmir economy is facing slump due to rising prices and inflation is one of the main culprit.
“When prices rise, people tend to avoid spending on things which they feel are not necessary and also majority of their earnings are spend on food and education of their wards,” he explained.