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Sky rocketing prices dampen Diwali celebrations in Himachal Pradesh

Posted on Nov 12, 06:47PM | UNI

Sky rocketing prices of essentials and crackers are proving to be a damper in Himachal Pradesh with not many people turning out in the markets for Diwali shopping and shopkeepers blaming the hikes for it.

Most of the people, except well paid employees, have been forced to reduce their Diwali budget this time.

There is no enthusiasm among the customers and shopkeepers who are blaming the increasing prices for the dull scenario, a local shop keeper Sai Ram told UNI.

According to him, the Diwali business this time is likely to be only 10 to 20 per cent of the normal season as customers are reluctant to spend their hard earn money on festivities hence they are cutting down their budget.

Amar Nath Verma, a middle class employee, said that instead of purchasing crackers and Chinese light emitting devices he would prefer investing in electronic gadgets and appliances which would give long term benefits.

"I have decided to buy an LCD TV or a washing machine rather than indulging in wasteful expenses. Even the traditional confectioneries are getting replaced by fast food, cake and dry fruit etc. You just cannot trust the quality of sweets being sold in the town." District food supply inspector Ramesh Gangotra said that state food and supply department was trying its best to check the adulterated substance and ensuring the quality of sweets.

Officials have forced the shopkeepers to dispose of the unhygienic sweets after conducting repeated raids in the town.

He said that many quintals of sweets have been thrown away by the inspectors after inspection owing to the inferior quality.

The state has announced an increase of 300 mg of sugar in ration quota on the occasion of Diwali.

Mr Ramesh Dhawala, Food and Civil Supplies Minister said here yesterday that all the ration card holders of the state were being provided one kg levy sugar which included 700 gram general quota and 300 gram additional quota on account of the festival of lights.