Traders and transporters at the wholesale Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi say retail prices of vegetables and fruits will rise by around 5% following the diesel price hike. Suppliers say the hike is too much to be absorbed and have demanded a rollback.
The mood at the APMC market on Friday was that of anger. “Though it is the demand-supply of produce that determines its price, transport cost has an impact. Farmers will get less returns from the market as they will have to pay more for transport. Traders who buy produce directly from farmers too will have to bear the cost,” said APMC director Shankar Pingle.
Transporters too are upset. “The government is creating a situation where I will have to sell my vehicle and take up some other business,” said transporter Rajesh Gupta.
“We are being fined for overloading that we resort to cover cost. Now this hike. How will we survive?”
Vijay Bhor, vice-president of Mumbai Truck Tempo Association said transporters will be forced to increase rates by Rs100-Rs 200 per trip from APMC to Mumbai.
“On an average, 400 vehicles take vegetables to Mumbai every day. Their costs will increase, which will ultimately be passed on to the common man,” he said.