The average household’s struggle with rising prices continues.
Vegetable prices have doubled in the last two months. Last week’s storm-driven rains turned a bad situation worse, not only destroying crops but also affecting supplies as transportation from the interiors of the state to the wholesale market at Vashi was hit hard.
Of the vegetables, the worst hit are tomato, onions, lady’s finger, capsicum, green peas, and beans.
“The rains in Mumbai were nothing compared to what happened in the villages, where it poured for days. The fields are full of water and the ready crop is badly hit,” said vegetable wholesaler Prakash More, adding: “Prices have almost doubled since last month.”
“Prices have steadily gone up in the last month. A few days ago I was selling tomatoes for Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kg, today I’m selling it for Rs 40. Onions that I sold for Rs 12 to Rs 15 earlier, I’m selling today at Rs 30 per kg. What can I do, my purchase cost has gone up,” said vegetable vendor Bhimrao Borkar.
The story repeats itself with grains and pulses.
The wholesale price of Tur Dal went from Rs 78 in September to Rs 86 in November. Urad Dal rose from Rs 54 to Rs 76 and Moong Dal from Rs 61 to Rs 86 in two months.
“This year’s Moong Dal crop was bad, so there’s a shortage – it’s the same with Urad Dal,” said Sharad Maru, president of Grains, Rice, Oilseeds Merchant Association, adding: “We’re expecting a new crop of Tur Dal, which should bring prices down from December.”
Retailers, though, are not convinced.
“Our situation is worse than the stock market. We have no idea what the increase will be on any given day. I don’t see prices coming down soon,” said Tejas Shah, a leading Vashi retailer.
For the buyer at home, this means more confusion.
“How many times do we revise our household budget? How can we make do without grains, pulses and vegetables, that too basics like tomatoes and onions?” says Vashi resident Kshitija A.
Adds Koparkhairane resident Mudassar Bharde: “My salary does not rise on a monthly basis, but inflation definitely does.”