Vegetable prices softening in Delhi, but rains crucial in future, says govt

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 18 2013, 22:08pm hrs
Vegetable pricesVegetable prices have started dipping. Prices of tomato and most green vegetables have come down. (PTI)
Barring onions, prices of most vegetables have started softening in the national capital with supply of tomato and other green veggies gradually improving, Consumer Affairs Secretary Pankaj Agrawala said today.

However, a further drop in vegetable prices will be seen provided unseasonal rains stop in nearby growing areas, he said.

"How can I say when prices will come down. It all depend on rains," he added.

"Vegetable prices have started dipping. Prices of tomato and most green vegetables have come down," Agrawala told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

Prices of most vegetables rose owing to damage of standing crops following extended rains in the vicinity of Delhi and other nearby growing areas, he added.

Asked if veggies were being hoarded, Agrawal said, "Vegetables are perishable commodities and they cannot be hoarded. Unseasonal rains have damaged crops."

On onions, he said prices are still ruling high because the supply of late kharif (summer) crops from Gujarat has got delayed due to unseasonal rains. Rains have affected harvesting and transportation of onion.

According to an official data, retail prices of onion are still ruling high at Rs 63 per kg in the national capital, while tomato rates have declined to Rs 35 per kg over the last three months. Potatoes are available at Rs 25 per kg.

In the wholesale market of Delhi, onion prices are currently ruling at Rs 42.50 per kg, tomato at Rs 18.60 per kg and potato at Rs 18.75 per kg, the data showed.

Addressing a workshop on consumers, Agrawala emphasized the need to deepen consumer consciousness and awareness as economy grows and transactions become complex.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry is considering a proposal to introduce 'consumer friendly award' to companies that are redressing consumer grievances at their doorstep.

It is also looking at testing comparative product brands and grading them from quality point of view besides providing an option of 'class action suit' to claim damages under the existing laws.

Stating that consumer is king, Manfred Haeibid of German government body 'Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale

Zusammenarbeit' said: "Consumers are not always at the mercy of big companies. Consumers are powerful."

However in India, there is a slow progress with regard to consumers as drivers of change in economic growth, he said.

He suggested that NGOs and other bodies need to raise awareness to move consumers to pro-actively take part in further sustainability agenda.