Though common edible vegetables, roots and tubers have been brought under the 0 per cent GST slab, prices have increased. Why?
Though common edible vegetables, roots and tubers, such as potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, shallots, garlic and leek, have escaped the GST and come under the 0 per cent tax slab, prices have nonetheless soared.
So what’s causing the hike, particularly in tomato prices? Rains, confirms DP Singh, deputy secretary of Ghazipur sabzi mandi in Eash Delhi.
As of today, the wholesale price for tomatoes was Rs 60-65 per kg at the Ghazipur mandi, while the retail price shot up to Rs 80-85 across the city. This, despite government officials at the mandi assuring that prices of tomato and other vegetables would remain the same for the next two weeks.
Singh elaborates, “This crisis is due to the rains. We get tomatoes from Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country. At present, we are getting them from Simla alone. Supply from nearby areas, such as Uttar Pradesh, is zero."
If the supply shortage continues for next few days, prices can touch Rs 100 or more.
Prices of some other non-seasonal vegetables, too, have gone up in the past two weeks. The wholesale price of vegetables such as eggplant has reached Rs 30-35 per kg, which in retail is being sold for Rs 50. Cauliflower and capsicum are sold for Rs 40-45 at wholesale prices, while vendors are selling them for Rs 60-65.
Vimla Kausik, a resident of Rosewood Apartments in Mayur Vihar Phase I Extension, said, “On Friday, tomatoes at Samachar Market sold for Rs 65, and they went up to Rs 85 by Monday evening.”
Nirmala Singh, another resident who buys her vegetables from Samachar Market in the neighbourhood, said, “It’s not a problem when the prices of one or a couple of vegetables increase. People can avoid having tomatoes for a few days, but when most veggies cost more, what do you do?”