Veggie price gaps between retail and wholesale 49%: Study

PTI Posted online: Friday, May 23, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Difference between wholesale and retail prices of essential vegetables, like onion and potato, went up beyond 49 per cent during 2013-14, a study said.

The difference underscores the widening gaps between the prices at which procurement is done from farmers and the price level for consumers, the Assocham study said.

Majority of Indian retailers, it said are selling vegetables at prices which are significantly higher than the wholesale price index (WPI).

"Normally, the difference between wholesale price (WSP) and retail prices on an average stays around 30 per cent and it has been much more as seen in the findings of paper," the chamber said.

It further said that WSP benefited multiple times middlemen and traders, particularly for sale of essential commodities and worst hit in the process remained farmer and consumer as farmers margins squeezed badly with consumers paying unreasonably higher prices.

"Due to difference in both prices of wholesale and retail prices, the extra amount which end consumers are paying for vegetables is utterly disproportionate," it added.

The study, Assocham said considered 33 market centers in India including Abohar, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Jammu and Trivendrum.

Out of 33 centers, nearly 18 centers are charging more than all India average retail prices and wholesale prices, the study said.

The essential vegetables incorporated in the study include bitter gourd, brinjal, cabbage, garlic, onion, peas and potato.