Over a month after Narendra Modi took over the reins of the country, the highly publicised campaign promise of "Ache Din" seems to be far from delivered. Despite making claims to bring down inflation and taking digs at the Congress for the rising prices during his election campaign, the scenario now is just the same, if not worse. Food and fuel prices continue to soar at alarming rates while increase in railway fares and import taxes loom on the horizon.
Onion prices: While the wholesale prices of onions was from Rs 13 to Rs 25 per kg, the retail prices in various locations of cities has varied from Rs 16 per kg to Rs 30 per kg, a good 50% rise. The government has said that although the supply is not a problem, the price hike is due to black marketers and hoarders. In an attempt to curb the price rise Delhi government will open stalls in various government premises to sell onions and potatoes on wholesale prices to the people. Read more.
Sugar price: Following the governments decision to hike import duty on sugar to 40% from the earlier 15%, Sugar prices rose by up to Rs 2 per kg to Rs 33.40 at the wholesale market. Taking cues from the wholesale market, retail prices also increased by Rs 2 per kg to Rs 39-40 per kg. Read more.
LPG price: The price of non-subsidised LPG, which customers buy after using up their quota of 12 subsidised cylinders, was raised by Rs 16.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder, the first hike in six months. and that of jet fuel by over half-a-percent after international oil prices surged due to the ongoing Iraq crisis. Read more.
Fuel prices: Petrol price was today hiked by a steep Rs 1.69 per litre and diesel by 50 paise a litre as the crisis in Iraq spooked international oil and currency markets. The hike, effective midnight June 31, excludes local sales tax or VAT and the actual increase will be higher, varying from city to city.Read more.
Rail fares: The government partially rolled back a steep hike in rail passenger fares after protests from allies. Shutting plans for a 14.2% rise in passenger fares and a 6.5% increase in freight costs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government said late on June 24 that fares for city commuters will now effectively be frozen. Even after this, a fare hike is feared in the near future. Read more.
Crimes against women: With premier politicians unabashedly making controversial and derogatory statements, it comes as no surprise that the rate of crimes against women have increased. The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2013 shows a spike in registration of crimes against women even as murders have dropped by 3.6%. Besides rapes, there is a 56% increase in crimes described as outraging the modest of women involving assault and a 37% rise in the offense of insult to women. Read more.
Dabba delivery charges: The iconic Mumbai 'dabbawalas' or lunch box carriers, have hiked the costs of their delivery by Rs 100 a month to cope up with the rising cost of essential commodities. They attributed the steep hike to rise in prices of vegetables and costs of transport. Read more.
'Accha Din'— It isn't all black on the horizon though; there have been a few positive increments as well:
Land prices: Land prices have shot up by 20% in Varanasi in the 30 days since Narendra Modi became prime minister of India and chose to represent Varanasi in the Lok Sabha instead of Vadodara. Expectations are running high that the first budget of the Modi government will come with a special component for Varanasi that will be a game-changer. Read more.
Sensex and markets: The benchmark BSE Sensex climbed to a new record-high of 25,732.87 in opening trade on July 2, on sustained foreign fund inflows and buying by retail investors after Finance Minister said the government would take bold decisions in the forthcoming Budget to revive the economy. Read more.