The prices of stamps are not just subject to economic conditions. A whole lot of other factors influence it. Thematic content, printed quantity etc being other parameters (and their are many many more).
Plus distribution mode. Currently commemoratives are unevenly distributed across the GPOs.
Talking about a surge in philatelic activity in India currently, it is not the collectors who are buying stamp sheets in droves, rather it is just a handful of dealers who are doing so. I contacted the Hyderabad Philatelic Bureau and the estimated number of collectors with standing order account for this city of 6.8M people is around 1200. So much for your upscale, urbane sheet buying collectors !!
These dealers have backdoor relations with the GPO staffs. I wrote once to the Director, GPO, Kolkata to make a separate counter for volume sales. Most of the times, the counters are blocked by these selfish, crooked so called dealers who just exhaust rims of sheets and M/S leaving behind nothing for us. And we wait for hours to buy a handful of the new issues or that traffic signal corner copy!
Philately in its true form is not just being discouraged, it is dying a slow death in India. No single person or clique in my opinion can be blamed for this turn of events. The blame falls squarely on an incompetent, ill-equipped and ill-mannered department with no philatelic training what-so-ever, and the profiteers in garb of collectors/dealers.viewtopic.php?f=13&t=317&p=2563937
Pointed out the same in 2010 on this board.
Stamps from 1990s are highly priced in India only. Yes, only in India. Their catalogue values are as high or as low as any stamp with a specific combination of printed quantity, thematic content and type should have. The same applies to the FDCs from the same period.
The thing that amazes me is, people who sell stamps for CV fail to understand that they freaking need to handle mint stamps with a pair of freaking solingen tweezers! They can't afford to buy one of these but ask them the price of a stamp they will tell you a bible of why it is priced so high.