Vegetable prices on the rise
KARACHI: With no respite in vegetable prices after interruption in supplies from the flood-hit areas of Sindh, some traders have imported vegetables from India in Lahore to meet the demand and supply gap.
Traders in Karachi are continuously pushing up rates, especially of green vegetables, after a major drop in supplies from interior of Sindh after floods and heavy rains.
President, Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Vegetable Market, New Sabzi Mandi Haji Shahjehan who is in Lahore claimed that 80-100 truck loads of Indian tomato and other green vegetables were cleared in the last two days from Wagha border while hundreds of trucks are still parked inside India near the border.
He, however, ruled out a possible sharp decline in tomato rates as its wholesale rate had swelled to Rs80 from Rs40-50 in just two days in Karachi`s main wholesale market as Balochistan crop is coming to an end.
Indian tomato, which is also being supplied to other parts of the country in limited quantity, would not be enough to meet the entire country`s demand.
Claiming that tomato would cost Rs50 per kg in the wholesale after paying taxes and duties, he said in case bulk supplies from India reach the country, its price would drop.
He urged the Federal Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who is in India on a six-day visit, to hold talks with the Indian authorities and private sector to increase bilateral trade and remove barriers.
Haji Shahjehan said India always prefers buying limited quantity of commodities from Pakistan despite facing food crisis, and it lifts commodities from other countries while Pakistan procures huge quantities from India irrespective of prices and other issues.
He urged the minister to ask the Indian trade representatives to show elasticity in their attitude by buying their deficit items from Pakistan in larger quantities.
Meanwhile, retailers are charging very high prices depending on the availability of commodities in some areas.
Onion price has, however, declined to Rs15-30 per kg from Rs40 thanks to improved supplies from Balochistan. Cucumber is being sold at Rs160 per kg. Many traders have stopped lifting it from the Sabzi Mandi as its price had touched Rs120 in Sabzi Mandi. Retailers are still charging white gourd and ridge gourd at Rs100 per kg.