Restore Parity

Restore Parity

While the administration has placed price ceilings of sorts and thereby capped prices of mutton and chicken, the fact remains that there are a plethora of other essential items including edibles whose prices gyrate and are subject to the capricious whim of sellers. This distorts the supply, demand and price dynamic and equation, leading to distorted market prices and signals and thereby increased prices. The overall consequence is that the burden of price increases is passed onto the consumer who has to cough up more money. This burden becomes more acute and poignant for the poorer classes of society whose purchasing power, as it stands, is limited. An addition into the consumption basket makes them pinch pennies, adding to their economic woes. In a convoluted way, the wanton price increases by sellers, across the board, based on their whims and greed, created inflation and inflationary pressures in the broader economy. Cumulatively, for the sake of consumer protection, and other factors, which are both economic and non economic, the administration must through decree regulate prices of items and commodities across the board. That is, there must and should be price caps and price ceilings on these commodities. What must be factored in these caps is supply and demand dynamic and aspects of commodities and items and price caps be made a tad flexible but not to the extent of sellers abusing these or falling victim to these. The overall market in Kashmir is such that it is in an unregulated morass wherein anyone can charge whatever prices he or she chooses, especially when mark up prices are not written or clearly specified. This must and has to change. There are both moral and practical reasons for this. Morally, hoarding, black marketing and unwarranted price increases at the expense of consumers is wrong. Practically, the burden of price increases which is passed on to the consumer is, generally, inflationary and , in combination, the poor by having to pay extra for their consumption basket are badly hit. There then is an exigent need to and for price caps and price ceilings on commodities, across the board so that a measure of sanity is restored to markets in Kashmir. A regulated market for commodities and products, vegetables, edibles and so on will precisely do this and , besides restoring parity of sorts to the supply, price and demand dynamic will also accord relief to consumers.