Jammu and Kashmir’s inflation rate as per consumer price index (CPI) for the month of June is 7.42 percent, the highest among all states and higher than the India average of 6.26 percent, making the Himalayan region the most expensive place in India to live.
According to the CPI data for June released by the Union ministry of statistics and program implementation, J&K is among the states, UTs having a higher inflation rate than all India average. This signifies the concern of people in J&K who decry the skyrocketing prices of eatables, edible oil, and petroleum products, which is making a hole in the pockets of the common masses.
As per the local traders, the higher prices of goods and commodities have not only affected its consumers but also resulted in less business turnover in the markets.
“Nobody is talking about the economic crisis people are facing due to high prices of almost everything, in just one year the price of edible oil has come up by Rs 1000 per 15 liter, petrol is above 100 a liter,” said Muhammad Alysas, a Srinagar resident.
As per the officials, there is no breather for inhabitants of the state. Major factors attributing to the rising costs in the state is heavy dependence on imports from other places.
J&K on average imports goods and food items worth Rs 40,000 crore annually from other states.
The ever-increasing petroleum prices have become a major reason for the escalating inflation in the state, given the heavy transportation costs and tough terrain. With around 52 percent state and central taxes on fuel, the prices of petrol and diesel have shot up.
“Our failure to stop unabated conversion of agricultural land coupled with failure to introduce latest agro-technology is leaving us badly dependent on outside supplies. Adding to it, soaring fuel prices have resulted in an increase in rates of almost every commodity meaning that people have to shelve out extra bucks from their pockets,” said President, Kashmir Retailers Association, FarhanKitab.
The country’s retail inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), eased marginally to 6.26 percent in the month of June.
The Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) or the inflation in the food basket, however, inched slightly higher on month during June to 5.15 percent, from 5.01 percent in May, the data revealed.
The hike in the food basket was mainly due to a sharp rise in prices of oils and fats which surged 34.78 percent on year in June. Apart from this, the egg prices segment saw a rise of 19.35 percent while that of fruits gained 11.82 percent and pulses and products rose 10.01 percent. Non-alcoholic beverages climbed 14.71 percent. On the other hand, the vegetable segment slipped (-)0.70 percent and cereals and products declined (-)1.94 percent.
Apart from food and beverages, the fuel and light segment rose 12.68 percent in June, while clothing and footwear gained 6.21 percent and the housing segment inched up 3.75 percent.