Rising prices of pulses, fruits and vegetables have hit the household budget of city residents ahead of the upcoming festivities of Navratra and Dussehra.
Officials of the agriculture marketing department in Ghaziabad said that average wholesale prices of some of the widely used pulses like urad, arhar, moong and masoor have seen a gradual increase during October, as compared to the prices in September.
At present, Arhar costs Rs 11,750 per 100kg, against a cost of Rs 11,300 per 100kg last month. urad, Moong and masoor dal have a current average wholesale price of Rs 9,800, Rs 8,480 and Rs 7,250, respectively, per 100kg. The prices have increased up to Rs 300 since September.
“This (price rise) is because of the festival season as consumption patterns change to accommodate a purely vegetarian diet and residents also tend to go for a protein-rich diet. In local markets, the retail prices of pulses ranges between Rs 75 and Rs 140. Even vegetable prices have increased this month,” said Roop Singh, senior inspector from the department.
The wholesale prices of vegetables like potato and tomato have also increased to Rs 690 and Rs 1,560, respectively, per 100kg. The two commonly used veggies cost Rs 621 and Rs 840, respectively, per 100kg in September.
“The increase in wholesale prices is not much. But sometimes commodities are sold in the retail market with a profit margin of more than 100%. The retail prices follow market trends and depend on various factors,” Singh said.
However, the wholesale prices of other vegetables like onion and cauliflower have shown a decline and stood at Rs 3,550 and Rs 950 per 100kg, respectively, during the current month. Last month, the two items were priced at Rs 3,725 and Rs 2,045 per 100kg, respectively.
Wholesale prices of fruits like papaya, pomegranate and guava have increased while wholesale prices of banana and apple have decreased.
In the retail market, the price of onion is in the range of Rs 65 per kg, cauliflower Rs 40 per kg, tomato Rs 52 per kg, brinjal Rs 28 per kg and potato at Rs 17 per kg.
The prices of fruits have also been rising. Banana is being sold for Rs 42 per kg, papaya at Rs 41 per kg and guava at Rs 62 per kg. Apple is being sold for Rs 210 per kg and pomegranate at Rs 165 per kg.
“The fruit prices always increase during festivals. The vegetable prices will witness a marginal increase till the end of the festival season. However, the prices of pulses may see a dip by October-end as the government has ordered for a major import of pulses. So, their prices may decrease when import consignments arrive,” Singh said.
Residents said with the prices heading north, they are finding it hard to balance their budgets. People said they are more worried as festivals are approaching and the expenses might go up further.
“Durga Puja is approaching and the prices have already increased a lot. If the prices of daily consumption items keep increasing like this, it will definitely dig a hole in our pockets,” said Arundhati Banerjee, a resident of Indirapuram.
“We gift fruits to our relatives when we visit them during the festivals. But with the prices of fruits increasing like this, we don’t know what to do,” said Namita Prakash, a resident of Vaishali.