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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Delhi: Veggie, fruit supplies dry up as traders strike

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 04, 2014
First Published: 00:22 IST(4/2/2014) | Last Updated: 09:28 IST(4/2/2014)

The supply of fruits and vegetables ran dry in the Capital on Monday with the prospect of soaring prices looming large, as wholesalers across the city went on an indefinite strike. The wholesalers are protesting against a Delhi government order that stops distributors from charging a six-percent commission from the farmers and instead asks the wholesalers to pay the same.

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The order followed a Delhi high court order last October which passed the burden of the six-percent commission from the distributor to the wholesaler. Wholesalers have said the idea isn’t feasible.

Farmers sell their produce to distributors and pay a commission of six percent. The distributor sells the same to the wholesaler, who makes the produce available for the retail market.

The government has appealed to the wholesalers to call off the strike, besides threatening to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), since the supply of vegetables and fruits were badly hit.

“We have the go-ahead to invoke ESMA. However, we are still trying to reach a common ground through talks with the wholesalers. It is a court order and we are merely upholding that,” said Girish Soni, state development minister.

Retailers also warned of a rise in vegetables prices from Tuesday.

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