Kolkatans worried over rise in prices of vegetables, fish

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Kolkata, Aug 28 (ANI): People of Kolkata are a worried lot as prices of vegetables and fish have increased in the city.

The vegetable vendors are selling potatoes at the rate of Rs.18 per kg which were earlier being sold at Rs.6. Earlier, prices of tomatoes were Rs.20 per kg but now they are being sold at Rs.30 per kg. The prices of other vegetables have also increased.

Vegetable sellers say that less production of vegetables have increased the price this year.

"The prices of vegetables were low earlier. But now the prices are increasing because of less production. There is a gap between supply and demand," said Sahadeb Poira, a vegetable seller.

Residents say that prices of vegetables are becoming unaffordable for them.

"Here if I go to market for potatoes I have to pay 18 rupees more than that. And say now when you----purchase 5 rupees or 6 rupees per kg now its three times therefore we can't afford it," said RN Chakraborty, a resident of Kolkata.

The prices of food grain, sugar and other items of daily needs have created an explosive situation in India because of weak monsoon and drought like situation.

Food prices surged an annual 13.3 percent in mid-August even as the overall wholesale price index fell, and the impact of a poor monsoon on inflation and the economy could prompt further government relief steps.

The prices of 'Hilsa' fish have also increased in the region. Sayeed Anwar Maqsood, secretary, Fish Importers Association says that prices have increased because of less procurement from neighbouring Bangladesh.

"The prices of Hilsa fish have gone up because of the fact there is a scarcity in the market. We fish importer association used to bring every year more than 5,000 metric ton of Hilsa fish. But then we are not able to bring fish this year from Bangladesh. The major reason is because fish availability in Bangladesh itself is very little," said Maqsood.

Hilsa prices in Kolkata, as a result, have shot up substantially from 100-120 rupees (2.3- 2.7 US Dollars) a kilogram to 350-400 rupees (8.15- 9.31 US Dollars), putting the fish out of reach of middle class Bengalis. (ANI)

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