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This scant respect for Law Computation of GDP – conundrums continue WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Pharma – overdose of copying The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Wise Presidents Breaththrough in malaria control Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Rahman at CIC Sweet news for TN sugar mills Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Towards speedy justice IAS invades NDDB... Should we change the official year? S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Muffled voices for merit… A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Editor's Says An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... When Ratan Tata visited SRM Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! 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Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil?

In just around a decade, real estate prices have zoomed: in  Chennai, the price of a flat in a multi storeyed building has increased from an average of around Rs 1250/sq.ft to Rs 12,000/sq.ft. Sadly, there is not much effort to look into the why of this and take corrective action.

I  am citing   a couple of instances related to common products – light fixtures and water taps – as examples of the gay abandon in jacking up prices unrelated to costs:

Chinese products dominate the light fixtures market. As in the case of toys and several other products, these seem to have driven out small-scale units from Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere. The prices are arbitrary with no warranty and they are subjected to the whims and fancies of the trader. Five months ago, such a light fixture with the bulb and fuse system was offered for Rs 520 a piece. In November, this has been increased to Rs 720. The CFL bulb is priced at a whopping Rs 330. When such bulbs are claimed to have long life, a few of these last just a couple of hours and the consumer is not entitled for a free replacement.

Jaquar has earned a reputation for quality pipe fittings. Hardly, three months ago, such a fitting was sold for Rs 720. Today, the price has been jacked up to Rs 950. The material content in such a pipe is only a few grams of steel. There is no explanation for such steep increases effected by the day.  There is simultaneous increase in the price of every component of construction materials -  sand, cement and  steel...

Are we on the path of the Latin American countries, which are in the grip of uncontrolled inflation?

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