As we look back on 2009 one thing becomes obvious. Living nay surviving has become an expensive affair. Call it failed monsoons or "supply side economics", those in the food trade has never had it so good. Both ends of the chain, i.e., the farmer and the consumer have got the rough end of the stick.
Food prices have spiralled out of control and the officialdom pegs it at 20%. The consumer sees prices have increased by close to 100%. Government is at pains to assure us that the shortfall in foodgrain output is not serious and we have adequate buffer stocks. Yet, prices seem to go and stay up. Is there more to it than meets the eye.
The supply chain has many layers of intermediaries and there is massive profiteering. News about crop failure gets prominence and there is large scale and organised hoarding. Those at mandis openly talk of a corporate house has picked up hundreds of truckloads of pulses at levels of Rs. 23 - 30. These are now available at close to Rs. 100/-.
Is this happening with Government blessings and some are partners in the loot?