Onion rate doubles due to rains in Sindh

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LAHORE - The vegetables prices in retail markets as well as Sunday bazaars have gone up sharply due to lack of supply amidst Eid holidays. Particularly, the onion rate has surged by 100 per cent in a couple of days following heavy rains in Sindh, damaging the crop severely, said the vegetables market vendors.

The vendors said that onion crops in Badin, Sanghar, Nasarpur and Tando Allahyar had been devastated by rains. As a result, the supply of the vegetable had been suspended to the vegetable markets. They said the price of onion has jumped to Rs1500 from Rs750 per maund in only two days. Its retail price had soared to Rs35-40 per kg from Rs20 per kg.

They said that torrential rains have affected other crops including the cotton as well, as over one million cotton bales are likely to be affected by rains in the country during the current monsoon season.

Market experts said that this situation would help substantial increase in cotton prices at international market. They feared that persisting wet spell in south Punjab and Sindh may cause reduction in cotton products across the country.

Meanwhile, the prices of majority of veggies including onion, potato, tomato, lemon, cauliflower, cabbage, green chilli, lemon, bitter gourd, arum and ladyfinger have witnessed an increase of almost 25 to 50 percent.

This week there were no makeshift bazaars by the city district government and stallholders established their stalls under the sun without any arrangement of tents and shade. No official was seen by the scribe during the visit of some of the makeshift markets to check the price list in the bazaars.

Vendors said that they suffered due to sun heat as no tent arrangements were made by the govt. They said that as there was no price list, so everyone was selling his goods as per his own will. They said that due to unavailability of proper arrangements both visitors and shopkeepers were facing severe hardships, as there was no drinking water facility and no shade.

The government, during the month of Ramazan, managed to control the prices of the vegetables somewhat, but after Eid no such control was seen neither in makeshift nor in open markets.

Vendors said that the prices of fruits and vegetables increased due to lack of considerable stock in the aftermath of Eid, creating further problems for citizens already experiencing double-digit inflation. The prices were being decided by the retailers themselves, with no regulating body to keep them in check.

During the survey, it was found that the price of garlic (China) was fixed at Rs120-150 per kg. Ginger (China) was fixed at Rs100 to 150 per kg and sold at Rs 200 per kg. Onions were being sold at Rs40-50 per kilogramme, potatoes for Rs35-55 per kilogramme, tomatoes for Rs90-120 per kilogramme, ginger for Rs200-250 per kilogramme, cabbages for Rs60-80 per kilogramme, ladyfingers for Rs45-65 per kilogramme and green chilli for Rs80-100 per kilogramme. The vegetable vendors did not display any government rate list. A vegetable stall holder said that he could not sell vegetables at rates fixed by the government as he was buying these items at higher rates from the vegetable market.

Visitors of the Sunday bazaars said that that the prices of all fruits and vegetables in these special makeshift markets were equal to the open market while quality was also questionable, as several fruits and vegetables stalls were decorated with rotten goods. However, the shoppers were allowed by the vendors to pick and sort the items.

Most of the stalls were empty since the start of business in the morning and the management was not taking any action to ensure the availability of all food items.

The shoppers said that they could not find chicken, meat or beef at most of the Sunday Bazaars and they had to buy it from other markets at higher rates. The buyers observed that the middlemen were minting money by raising prices. They said that the middlemen know that people have no choice but to shop as these are basic kitchen items, therefore they are selling them at exorbitant prices.

The price of apple was Rs 70 to 110 per kg and lowest quality apple was sold at Rs 100 per kg. Peach s rate was between Rs70 to 90 per kg and B-grade was sold at Rs 60 to 80 per kg.

Courtesy: Nation

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