New Delhi, Nov 24: Surge in fuel prices and unseasonal rains in several parts of the country are behind the fresh rise in prices of vegetables in the national capital, said traders on tuesday. Prices of vegetables, especially tomato and okra, have witnessed a sharp rise in the past one month in the wholesale and retail markets here. “Any surge in the price of diesel affects the price of vegetables and the same is happening now as well. So, the price of almost all green vegetables are more than what it was in the previous month,” Adil Ahmad Khan, chairman of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) of Azadpur Mandi, said.
Tomato that was selling for Rs 33.5 per kg last month is now selling at Rs 44.25, while price of okra has increased to Rs 35 per kg from Rs 15 last month, he said. “Besides the hike in diesel prices, the less supply of vegetables is also due to damage because of rains and the overwhelming demand of vegetables in the ongoing wedding season. These are also significant reasons behind price rise,” Khan added
Petrol in Delhi on Tuesday was Rs 103.97 per litre, while diesel was retailing at Rs 86.67 per litre. The increase in prices is obviously more glaring in the retail and online market where customers have to shell out anything between Rs 90 to Rs 108 and Rs 100 to Rs 120 for one kg of tomato and okra, respectively. Prices of other vegetables including pumpkin, cauliflower and ridge gourd have also seen a surge of late, making a dent in the budget of consumers like Vandana Thappa, a homemaker in Ramesh Nagar. “Everyday you go out to buy vegetables the price is more than what it was yesterday. You try bargaining with the vendor, and he tells you that ‘piche se hi mehnga aa raha hai’ (getting it at an in increased price from wholesale market only),” she said. “The kitchen budget of the poor and middle-class has been badly affected due to the present hike in vegetables prices. The least that the government can do is keep a check on the price of vegetables but then they just won’t,” said a visibly annoyed Thappa.
According to SP Gupta, former APMC chairman of Ghazipur Mandi, the skyrocketing vegetable prices will start showing some sign of easing next month with the arrival of new crops in the market. “This time due to unseasonal rain and damaged crops there was little to no supply from neighbouring cities like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The tomato that we are getting is coming from as far as Shivpruri in Madhya Pradesh or Shimla. In fact, our supply from Bangalore is also not coming through,” he said. “We’ll start receiving our supply from all these states starting next month, which would hopefully help in lowering the inflated price of vegetables,” Gupta explained. PT