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ASSOCHAM paper on essential commodities price trends

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The Indian consumer was hard hit during the period from December 2003 to January 2008, due to a steep 60 per cent difference between wholesale prices (WSP) and retail prices, according to a latest study by industry chamber ASSOCHAM.

The study says that the difference between minimum support price (MSP) and WSP for essential commodities such as moong, urad, gram and arhar on an average was around 33 per cent between December 2003 and January 2008.

The conclusions were drawn by an ASSOCHAM paper on ‘MSP vs WSP & their impact on retail prices’. It studied essential commodities price trends for a period of five years. Apart from the consumers, it was the farmers who were the hardest hit. Normally, the difference between WSP and retail prices on an average stays around 20 per cent, but for supplies of essential goods, it has been much more as seen in the findings of the paper.

Commenting on the findings, ASSOCHAM President Venugopal N Dhoot said, “WSP benefited middlemen and traders multiple times, particularly for sale of essential commodities, and farmers and consumers were worst hit in the process.”

– Raja Ghoshal

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