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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Vegetable, fruit prices set to rise

By Our Staff Reporter


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, NOV. 16. The prices of fruits and vegetables are set to rise in the city in the wake of the recent hike in diesel prices.

According to the wholesale merchants in Chala market, the lorry and tempo operators had decided to increase the rental charges by 10 per cent for lorries carrying fruit and by 20 per cent for those transporting vegetables.

It is estimated that on an average 10 to 15 lorries and 5 to 10 tempos bearing fruits and vegetables arrive at the Chala market every day.

Rise in freight charges

The rise in the freight charges is expected to push up the wholesale prices of fruits by 10 paise per kg and that of vegetables by 20 paise per kg. The rise in the retail prices, depending on the area, would however, be much more.

The hike is coming into effect at a time when the prices of vegetables have already risen with the start of the Sabarimala season.

In the open market today, carrot and brinjal were sold for Rs.18 per kg, beans for Rs.14 and tomato for Rs.18.

"We have been urging the lorry and tempo owners not to increase the rental charges for quite some time. But since they have decided to increase the rates, we have no option but to follow suit," says S. Sulfikar Ali, vice-president, All Kerala Fruit Merchants Association.

The price list for fruits and vegetables (per kg) on November 12 released by the Economics and Statistics Department is as follows: carrot - Rs.16; brinjal - Rs.16; tomato - Rs.14; beans (English) - Rs. 16; beans (`nadan') - Rs.12; snake-gourd - Rs. 20; ladies finger - Rs.10. Even as the merchants try to down play the price hike, the aggrieved lot appears to be the consumers. "The new move will increase the rate of all essential commodities by at least 10 per cent," says K.G.M. Nair, consumer activist.

"The issue of increased diesel prices is just an excuse to hike the overall transportation charges," he alleges.

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