KARACHI: Traders on Monday pushed up vegetable prices by almost 100 per cent, citing thin arrivals from snow-hit Quetta and blockade of the Super Highway Sabzi Mandi following rains on Friday and Saturday. Traders said some green vegetable supplies from Quetta remained suspended where rainfall blocked the Karachi-Quetta Highway at Luckpass and other areas. The rainfall on two consecutive days in Karachi played havoc within Sabzi Mandi. With rotting produce and filth creating unhygienic conditions, many transporters delayed their arrival while retailers and customers preferred to stay away from the wholesale market.
On Monday, retailers jacked up tomato prices to Rs40-50 per kg from Rs25-30 per kg, saying the 12-13 kg wooden crates were now selling at Rs450-500 per box as compared to Rs180-200 in Sabzi Mandi. Price of green peas (Punjab variety) soared to Rs80 per kg from Rs40-50 per kg while Malir peas price climbed to Rs100 from Rs70-80 per kg. Capsicum (Shimla mirch) price went up to Rs80 per kg from Rs60, followed by spinach (palak) price to Rs40 from Rs25-30 per kg. Ridged gourd (turrai) and lady finger (bhindi) prices rose to Rs80 each from Rs50 and Rs60 per kg respectively. Green chili price increased to Rs80 per kg from Rs40-50 per kg while traders at Super Highway Mandi pushed up rates of coriander and mint by two rupees per bunch.
The role of provincial government and local administration holds no importance as they never carried out any survey of stocks position in Sabzi Mandi. Furthermore, the authorities have not made an effort to ascertain whether the price hike is artificial despite stockpiles or there was any huge supply and demand gap. President Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Vegetable Market Super Highway Haji Shahjehan said consumers may have to bear another wave of price hike in the wake of rising transportation cost owing to increase in diesel price. “The Rs2 per litre rise in diesel price will add another 50 paisa to Re1 per kg in vegetable prices depending from where the supplies are being made,” he said. He said the price of onion (Sindh crop) and potato (Punjab crop) has not witnessed any price increase due to sufficient stocks.