The single biggest concern for me this year has been to maintain my profits, which have taken a hit following the introduction of GST. It doesn’t affect me directly, but the wholesale prices of breads and eggs have gone up this year. We have been unable to pass on this increased cost to the customers. For instance, the price of a crate of eggs is ₹160 now, which I sell for ₹180. The profit, thus, is only ₹20 for 30 eggs.
We are a family of four and I am the main earning member. So, it is really hard to make ends meet. Conveyance costs have gone up as well. On an average, I spend ₹130 on conveyance every day which is also an increase over the last year. Consequently, our food and entertainment habits have been affected. We don’t cook fish at our home as often as we used to. I don’t remember the last time I went out to watch a movie. Earlier, the price of movie tickets at a single-screen theatre used to be affordable. But it is unfeasible now.
My most important wish for the year ahead is to have some sort of government pension to support me and my family. So far, the benefits of any welfare schemes, be it Ayushman Bharat or any other, started by this government, have failed to reach us. Being a lifelong supporter of Congress, I would also want a change in guard at Centre in 2019.
I was an ardent supporter of Indira Gandhi and think that the Congress’ policies took care of the poor and the marginalised. To be honest, I really don’t know how the new generation leaders of the Congress would work. But still, they must be given a chance, since the Modi government has failed to do anything significant for us, despite all the tall claims and promises they have been making.