Andhra Pradesh: Govt cess of 1% sparks rise in rice prices

The skyrocketing prices of rice is giving shock to the consumers of both Godavari districts, who were already burdened with increased rates of vegetables and pulses. The rate of rice was doubled in the last week, which was increased from Rs 5 to Rs 8 per kg. Traders are hinting that the rates may further go up in a few days. Earlier, 26-kg bag of Sonamasuri variety of rice used to cost Rs 1,040. Now, this has gone up to Rs 1,140 at rice mills. When it comes to the open market, the price will be Rs 1,250.

It is customary for retailers to sell a bag of rice at a higher price of Rs 50 to Rs 100. A 26-kg bag of HMT-type fine rice used to cost Rs 1,250, now it has increased to Rs 1,350. Wholesale and retail traders alleged that rice millers across the State along with joint Godavari districts have formed a syndicate and increasing the prices. Narayana Rao, who sells rice on the main road of Rajahmundry, said that the recent imposition of a 1 per cent cess on a bag of paddy grain by the State government is the main reason for the increase in prices. Rice millers initially opposed the cess but agreed after the syndicate assured them that Vigilance and Civil Supplies would not raid, he said. Millers have transferred cess burden to dealers and wholesale shopkeepers and the traders have passed this burden to the consumers. But the millers said that most of the grains were rain-soaked and damaged, hence the prices were rising. But people complained that this situation of price rise never happened in the past even when more heavy rains occurred.

This article has been republished from Hans India

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