Vicious Inflation during the Covid-19 pandemic
Inflation is always a concern for the people. It affects everyone no matter rich or poor. Everyone has to be the victim of it. The past year has been very much disturbing for the nation. In the shadow of the pandemic, inflation has raised heights, it is the most agonising situation to deal with. Inflation has been beyond speculation.
The basic amenities which needed to be at cheaper rates during the pandemic were also sold at higher rates, which made survival for the poor even more difficult. There were enormous crises during the pandemic, the rising prices on goods and services created a capitulation situation for people’s survival.
The pandemic hit back the economy and the social lives of people adversely. There was numerous news and information about the rising prices. Though the pandemic was the time to cut down prices, unfortunately, we saw a high rise in prices. Even the medical equipment and accessories which were supposed to reduce their rates were also sold at extra prices, which was heart-wrenching to see.
Inflation in food items
In the heat of the pandemic, we saw a steady boost in the prices of food commodities which was unsatisfactory as food is a basic need for everyone, we can avoid everything but food cannot be ignored, it is essential for survival. The prices of edible oil, pulses and gas touched the sky during the pandemic making it difficult to meet the requirements.
Edible oil which is an essential part of cooking food has been raised by 40%, even though the prices of pulses have increased, not only this the prices of gas has also increased making it difficult for the common man to meet its need.
Vegetable prices have also gone up especially onions, potatoes, green chillies, coriander etc. Several surveys were made to know about the inflation in which it was recorded the highest rate of inflation has been marked in edible oil prices which were 110 to 185. The pandemic-induced lockdown has left families with no choice but to dip into their savings to make ends meet. With a rise in prices of essential goods, “it was becoming impossible to manage”.
Amidst the pandemic when the mask was the most basic essential, whether it rich or poor, adult or child, girl or boy all has to wear no matter who it was the prices of the mask were increased along with other medical accessories like sanitiser, hand wash, gloves, foot covers, medicines and syrups.
Many people lost their lives because they could not meet up with the medical expenses. The most disappointing inflation was seen in the oxygen cylinders prices. It was doubled during the pandemic, during the second wave it was the utmost important requirement but still, the rates increased beyond the boundaries. People were dying due to its low availability and high prices. It was not everyone’s cup of tea to afford a cylinder.
The BBC called several oxygen cylinder suppliers and most of them asked for at least 10 times more than the normal price.The hospital expenses were so high during the pandemic period even doctors charged double their fees for emergency sufferers. The ICU fees were unaffordable for 60% of the people.
This wasn’t the end, the prices of fuels crossed their heights and there was a high spike in rates of diesel and petroleum. The highest price of petrol is 101/L. It was pointed out by several print media that the rising prices of petroleum and diesel are due to the government revenue having plummeted from other resources due to coronavirus.
This gives the government a good opportunity to mop up tax revenues through rising fuel prices. The initial impact of high prices is faced by people owning personal vehicles. The high rate of fuel prices will have an impact on the automotive sector — a large source of employment in the country — as vehicle sales may see a sharp drop. The rising fuel prices ultimately led to rising prices in public vehicle fares.
Inflation had badly affected people during the pandemic. They were unable to meet their primary needs like food, shelter and clothing and it was an unaffordable condition for secondary expenses like education, bills, entertainment etc. Inflation has caused complications in the survival of citizens.
There is no cost-cutting in the prices making each new day challenging. Due to inflation people cannot save for their future needs as income is less and expenses are more. More the prices, the more the difficulties to fulfil the expenditures. The condition is becoming worse day by day.
Edited by Sanjana Simlai.