Food prices have increased in the past few weeks, mainly due to tomatoes and other vegetables. Wheat, rice, edible oils and even some common spices have become expensive too.
The central government first imposed stock limits on pulses (arhar and urad) and then on wheat to tame prices. It then banned the export of non-basmati rice, allowed tomatoes to be imported from Bhutan, sold tomatoes through state agencies, extended the period of imported pulses, and banned exports of rice bran oil cake.
Some of these measures were on expected lines and others draconian, according to traders. With five state elections this year and the Lok Sabha contest in 2024, policy makers say combating inflation will be top on the government’s