GEORGE TOWN: Preparing food during Deepavali is now more difficult for the poor with the price increase and scarcity of essential ingredients such as cooking oil and spices.
Penang Hindu Association (PHA) deputy president P. Murugiah said a survey conducted by the association showed that the prices of items such as pappadam, milk powder, black bean (ulunthu) flour, dried chilli, cinnamon, ghee, green moong dhal, sardines, white pulut rice, muruku flour and cumin seed had increased.
“The prices of some of these items have risen by as much as 125% over the past three years.
“Pappadam recorded the highest increase during the Deepavali months. In December 2014, it cost only RM8 for 1kg and increased to RM12 (November 2015) and RM18 (October this year),” he said in a statement yesterday.
Murugiah added that the scarcity of cooking oil also meant that many families had to think twice before preparing popular Indian snacks such as muruku during this festive season.
“Muruku flour for every 500gm was priced at RM4 in 2014, RM4.40 in 2015 and RM5.40 in 2016, an increase of 35%.
“Due to such price increases, many poor Hindu families will have a gloomy Deepavali and some will celebrate in a quiet manner,” he said.