=Members of the Youth Congress and District Congress protested against the hike in diesel, petrol and LPG prices outside the Congress Bhawan in Sector 35 on Tuesday.
Vice-president of the Chandigarh Youth Congress, Harmail Kesri, said the central government was not justifying its own promises made during the first month after they came to power. The prices basic commodities such as potato, onion, milk, diesel, petrol and LPG, which directly affect all classes of society, have been increased.
District president H S Lucky said, “Modi has cheated and played with the sentiments of the people and failed to deliver the promises he made. Instead of controlling the price rise, rates of essential commodities have increased.”
Meanwhile, CTCC president B B Bahl and spokesman of the party Pradeep Chhabra issued a statement on Tuesday which criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government for the recent hike in petroleum products, which in turn will lead to a further hike in prices of essential commodities.
Bahl said the prime minister misguided the country by making false promises to come to power.
He went on to question the fact that even after getting an absolute majority, why could not the government show results. This, he stated, reflected its inefficiency in reality.
Milk prices see steep hike in last one year
Milk prices in the Tricity have increased by 25% to 33% in the last 14 months, owing to several revisions in prices by the Punjab State Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd (Milkfed), which produces the Verka brand. Officials have attributed the increase to rising input and procurement costs.
A 500ml of skimmed milk by Verka has increased from Rs 12 in May 2013 to Rs 16 in July this year, an increase of more than 33%. The price of a 500ml pouch of premium milk has increased by around 27% from Rs 18 to Rs 23, while that of standardised milk has increased from Rs 16.50 to Rs 21. The price of double-toned milk has increased from Rs 13.50 per 500 ml to Rs 17.
A Milkfed senior official said that in June, the Federation had increased the procurement costs due to which the selling price had to be increased. “Since Milkfed is a co-operative and not-for-profit organisation, the increase in prices simply reflects the rising input costs of milk production. Costs of feed and fodder, labour, dairy animals among others have increased sharply in the last one year, thereby forcing us to increase the prices. Even our rival Amul revised its prices a while ago, while other brands are likely to follow us,” said the official.
Another official said that at present, more than 65,000 farmers are associated with the Verka co-operative plant in Mohali, and if the sale prices are not increased as and when the milk production costs increase, there will be an imbalance in the market. “Whatever profits are earned by Verka, they are given back to the farmers. So, the prices totally depend upon the procurement costs,” he said.
Verka agency owners, however, feel milk prices have increased because Verka has a monopoly in the market. “If other brands get a significant share in the Tricity’s market, the revision of prices will not be so quick. The prices have been revised several times over the last one year,” said a Sector 20-based milk-seller.