Patna (Bihar) [India], April 3 (ANI): Vegetable prices have witnessed a sharp hike in the near past, traders hold fuel price hike responsible for this hike across the nation.
Traders are of the view that the sudden shoot in the prices of vegetables is caused due to an increase in the freight rates.
Prominently, the price of tomatoes, chillies, radish, and gourd has seen a jump. The effect of the fuel price hike is so much so that the price of pumpkin, at the peak of its season, has also increased.
"We are facing a lot of difficulty due to the price hike. The sale has gone down. The vegetables are perishable and do not stay fresh until the next day. We are purchasing at higher prices but are still not able to save even Rs 5 a kilogram," Deenanath, a vegetable vendor said.
Another vegetable seller said that the prices of vegetables won't come down until the prices of fuel fall.
"The Mandi is 12 kms from here; as fuel prices increase, so does the fare to the mandi and everything else thereafter," he said.
Talking about declining sales, the vendor said, "The sale is crashing; once people bought a kilo of vegetables easily, they are now limiting themselves to 250 grams. We are just trying to pull through the phase."
Even the fruit market has been adversely hit by inflation; more so because fruits aren't as essential as vegetables.
"The footfall has seen a stark decline. We are managing somehow," Amit Kumar, a fruit vendor said.
Further, another fruit vendor said that they are facing a lot of trouble.
"We are poor people; with this much hike in prices, won't one be troubled," he added.
Customers in the market shared a similar opinion.
"Everything is getting expensive by the day. But what will we do; one has to eat," said a customer while buying vegetables.
Another person said that everything is so expensive, that her family is having to cut down on their needs.
"There is not a single item the price of which has not increased. All prices have increased by at least 25 per cent be it vegetables, fruits, milk, or other essential commodities," said another buyer.
Meanwhile, fuel prices continue to rise with petrol and diesel rates rising by another 80 paise per litre each on Sunday, taking the total increase in rates in less than two weeks to Rs 8 per litre.
In the national capital, petrol now costs Rs 103.41 per litre, while diesel is selling at Rs 94.67 per litre.
Prices are set to be raised further given the sharp jump in crude oil prices in the international markets. It will have a cascading impact on the prices of other items and lead to inflationary pressure and hurt growth while also impacting the prices of other items.
Congress is holding a nationwide protest campaign 'Mehngai Mukt Bharat Abhiyan' against price rises under which it is organising rallies and marches across the country from March 31 to April 7. (ANI)