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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Onion for R50/kg? Prices of veggies may double soon

Shaswati Das, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 17, 2013
First Published: 22:21 IST(17/6/2013) | Last Updated: 01:26 IST(18/6/2013)

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It might have provided a soothing touch to Delhiites from the scorching heat, but the monsoon -- which hit the Capital 13 days early on Sunday -- may push up the prices of various vegetables by 125%.

The prices of cauliflower and ladyfinger have already reported a steep hike in prices over the past one week. Wholesalers as well as retailers confirmed that the prices of other vegetables would rise by 125% in the coming few weeks.

"Because of the rain, the produce has been destroyed. Vegetables that were being sold in the wholesale market for R10 per kg will now be sold at double the price. Onions, especially, will soon be sold for R45-50 per kg," said Anil Malhotra, member of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC).

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Wholesalers claimed that the harvest in Maharashtra and the NCR region has been severely damaged due to heavy rain and getting a fresh round of harvest from other places will push up the prices significantly.

"Onions that are coming to the market are wet and some have been spoiled already. So, we will now have to procure them Kolkata and Gujarat, which will hike the procurement costs," he added.

For retailers too, the jump in prices in the wholesale market has spelt a corresponding rise in cost.

"By next week, there will be a significant rise in the prices of several vegetables such as onions, brinjal and cauliflower. The wholesale prices are going up because of which retail prices too are skyrocketing," said a retailer at a Safal outlet.

Already under pressure from expensive vegetables, the impending hike will only enlarge the hole in the pocket of consumers.

"Retailers and street vendors are free to charge whatever they want. Every year and every season, it is the same old story. If there had been some counterbalancing mechanism in place to check the prices of vegetables then it would not put such a burden on our finances. Now, if we have to start paying the double of what we are already paying, then the high food budget will affect our whole financial planning," said Arti Sharma, a resident of Saket.


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