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Vegetable price rise – The government proved ineffective

There is steep increase in vegetable prices for sometime now. Usually, the vegetable prices come down drastically during winter season. But, this time round, the prices are soaring and the common man will be wondering how to make up for the sudden spurt. After the price increase of vegetables now it is the turn of fruits to top the price chart. The Dearness Allowance is increased marginally and at the same time the soaring prices of vegetables is a cause of worry. House wives are hard pressed to meet the both the ends and provide the best food items to their children. If the same condition persists for some more time then the situation will go from bad to worse. Despite the fact that there is wholesale market in cities still prices are sky rocketing in the last couple of weeks is a sad picture and the middle income group will suffer and the lower income group and the people below the poverty line will perish now.

The target is in the increase of tomato price rise and onion price rise and the people do not want to compromise on taste and go for tomato sauce but go for best quality all the time. Stitch in time saves nine is true. Instead of buying tomato when the price is at the optimum level better to avoid tomato
and wait till the prices come down drastically. As tomato is perishable item the prices will come down slowly and steadily.

Fruits also attract increase in price and the quality is not good enough to consume. In a first in the history of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra, a huge quantity of artificially ripened bananas was destroyed by the Inspecting Officials. It is noticed that raw bananas are bought and keeping them in a red chemical mix in a drum so that they ripen faster. This is applicable to some of the other fruits as well. After getting high merit, the fruit dealers should compromise on quality and prevent use of chemicals to ripen the fruits and safeguard the interest of the people.

National Market to seed out intermediaries will see price structure getting stabilized and commodities will be available for public at competitive rates. For example a vegetable like capsicum sold for Rs 8 by the farmer is sold in the retail market for Rs 80 and thus taxing people all the expenses and adding 200 per cent profit as well. Housewives felt happy when National Market was introduced as the cost of fruits and vegetables will come down.

To control steep increase in vegetable and fruit prices a move has been laid to delist fruits and vegetables from APMC. This means farmers can sell directly to consumers, without the interfering wholesalers and middlemen. The move is well taken by both farmers and buyers but the move did not go well with traders. With this we can expect a drastic drop in fruits and vegetable prices. Such an initiative ought to have been brought long back as we saw onion and tomato prices sky rocketing and the wholesalers make huge profit, hoarding the main stock.

Hoarding of vegetable items is the root cause for all the problems. Recent lowering of Petrol and Diesel is also not helping out to reduce cost. Anyway, the prices are soaring and the common man will be wondering how to make up for the sudden spurt in vegetable prices especially onion. State Government is responsible for the price raise of vegetables. People do not want to compromise on taste and go for the best quality all the time. The prices of vegetables are Rs 60 to Rs 80 and it is rather high. The government proved ineffective in all the issues relating price of consumer items as the party is busy in addressing the scams involving their Ministers. For housewives vegetable and fruits price increase brings tears and they curtail their budget to buy other essential commodities. It is indeed food for thought for the people.

Jayanthy Subramaniam

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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