Fruit and vegetable prices surge by 25 to 30%
By Tanveer Sher
KARACHI: In the wake of fresh increase in rates of diesel and petroleum related products announced by the government, an increase ranging from 25 to 30 percent was witnessed in prices of all kinds of vegetables and fruits in the wholesale and retail markets of Karachi.
It may be recalled here that vegetables and fruits consumption of around 20 million population of Karachi is catered through supply from Sindh Interior, Balochistan and areas of Punjab province bordering Sindh.
Approximately around 14 to 15 thousand tonnes of fruits and vegetables arrive Karachi Subzi Mandi, situated along Super High way via 700 to 800 trucks providing around one lacs of the population to earn their livelihood through this trade.
However, the unjustified upward revision in the prices of petroleum products specially diesel, which is used by majority of transporters, has spelled adverse consequences as far as rates of all vegetables and fruits are concerned.
Already rates of onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies and onion are on higher side and the fresh enhancement in prices of petroleum products without any significant increase in their rates in the international markets, has spelled serious hardship for poor segment of the population.
Haji Shahjahan, President Wholesale Vegetable Welfare Association, Subzi Mandi Karachi acknowledged about inflated rates of all fresh vegetables and fruits which have started arriving the wholesale markets during the last few days terming the increase as a sequel of upward revision in prices of petroleum products.
There would be double-edged increase for consumers of Karachi as not only transporters from across the country have enhanced their transportation charges but the owners of suzukis and other modes of transport which carry vegetables and fruits from Subzi Mandi to different areas of Karachi have also started charging higher rates.
Citing instances in this regard, he claimed that previous month, transport charges for vegetable and fruits from Sindh Interior stood in the range of Rs 10,000 to 12000 per trip but under the pretext of fresh increase in petroleum prices, an upward revision was for one side trip, which now stands at Rs 15000 to 18000.
Similarly, from Punjab and Balochistan, transporters charged Rs 25000 to 30000 for each trip to Karachi but now they have enhanced their rates to Rs 40000 to 45000, which is likely to have adverse impact on prices of all varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Replying to a question, he apprehended that from now on almost all fresh vegetables and fruits would be available to consumers at such rates which would be a burden on their monthly expenditures compelling them to divert their income earmarked for other expenditures.