Spectre of further price rise angers opposition in Assam

Guwahati, Aug 31 (Calcutta Tube) An apex trade body in Assam has announced that prices of all essentials would shoot up by another 10 percent with immediate effect, triggering angry criticism of the ruling Congress by the opposition parties Tuesday.

The Kamrup Chamber of Commerce (KCC) said the wholesale prices of all essentials were expected to go up by another 10 percent with transportation costs shooting manifold.

‘A Supreme Court order recently limited transportation of goods from 22 tonnes to 9 tonnes in a truck and this has led transportation costs to go up, and to overcome that the prices of essentials would have to be increased by at least 10 percent,’ M.P. Jain, president of the KCC, said.

The KCC announcement has triggered a wave of protests with the opposition baying for the government’s resignation.

‘It is a shame on the part of the state government not to have any control over prices of essentials. We want the government to quit if it cannot check price rise,’ Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Prasanta Phukan told IANS.

‘Transportation cost is just an excuse as the government top brass is in league with black marketers in hiking prices of essentials,’ said Atul Bora, general secretary of the Asom Gana Parishad, Assam’s main opposition party.

Assam depends on outside the region for almost all essentials.

‘Surviving has become a matter of concern for poor people and the government seems to be least bothered in terms of checking price rise,’ said Arun Das, a college teacher.

Meanwhile, Assam Food and Supplies Minister Nazrul Islam said the government would not allow traders to hike prices.

‘We shall take tough measures in case traders on their own decide to regulate prices of essentials,’ the minister told IANS.

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