Diesel bomb may trigger hike in vegetable prices

With the government hiking diesel price, truckers who fetch vegetables and other food items are likely to raise the charges.

The Koyambedu wholesale vegetable market which supplies to over 90 retail markets in the city handles 4,500 tonnes of vegetables a day.

“The market entirely depends on vegetables sourced from the districts, neighbouring states and North India. Hence fluctuation in fuel price has a direct impact on prices of vegetables as truckers will hike the transportation charges,” says V. R. Soundararajan, president of Koyambedu MMC License Holders Merchants Association.

Vegetables such as snake gourd, bitter gourd, cluster beans and brinjal are sourced from Tiruvallur, Vellore, Tiruvanamalai, Dindigul and Tindivanam, Mr Soundararajan said. Beans, carrot, radish, cabbage and cauliflower come from Ooty and Kodaikanal and rural Karnataka. Potatoes are sourced from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, while onion is brought from Maharashtra, he said.

The freight charges for truckers would go up by at least 15-20 per cent due to diesel price hike. “Hike in the price of diesel will have a direct bearing on the prices of essential commodities. We have no other option but to increase the charges for transportation of goods as and when diesel price hiked,” R. Sugumar, president, Confederation of Surface Transport, TN.

He said truckers were already affected by the fall in production of goods in the state due to power cut. “We have appealed to the state government to withdraw the sales tax of Rs 1.05 levied on diesel. We also want the rollback of the diesel price hike.”

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