LAHORE – The prices of vegetables have increased in the City in the wake of their limited supply due to change in the weather; however, the prices of fruits have remained normal in the open market as well as in Sunday Bazaars.
Besides the change in weather, the broker mafia in wholesale vegetable markets, being full backed by market committees, is a major contributor to the increase in the prices of vegetables on the pretext of floods, lack of transportation, strikes and shortage of items.
This week, the rates of spinach registered a record increase and it was sold for Rs30-40 per kg, while spinach desi was not available anywhere in the market. In Sunday Bazaars, the official rates of potato increased by Rs5 per kg and were fixed at Rs35 per kg; while that of onion increased by Rs7 per kg and were fixed at Rs45 per kg.
The rate of brinjal increased by Rs15 per kg and was fixed at Rs60 per kg. The price of cucumber was fixed at Rs60 per kg but it sold at Rs70 per kg. The rate of cabbage was fixed at Rs40 per kg and of cauliflower at Rs60 per kg, with an increase of Rs15-20 per kg.
The rate of pumpkin increased by Rs20 per kg and was fixed at Rs55-70 per kg, though it was sold for Rs80 per kg. The rate of peas was raised by Rs20 per kg and fixed at Rs120-150 per kg but it was not available in the makeshift markets. Capsicum price was stable at Rs90-100 per kg. Green chili rate was stable at Rs60-80 per kg but it was sold for Rs100 per kg.
The rate of tomato remained high at Rs40-50 per kg despite arrival of domestic production. Garlic (China) price was raised by Rs20 per kg and fixed at Rs100-110 per kg. Garlic (desi) rate was increased by Rs15 per kg and fixed at Rs80 per kg, but it sold for Rs100 per kg. Ginger (China) rate was up by Rs10 per kg and fixed at Rs75 per kg.
Market committee officials viewed that with a change in the weather, prices of the majority of seasonal vegetables had registered an upwards trend. They said the supply of vegetables in the outgoing summer season had been gradually decreasing, while the upcoming winter items were slowly entering the market, increasing vegetable rates.
However, the visitors of Sunday Bazaars alleged that because of criminal silence of the respective market committees, people had been braving almost 100 per cent inflation within just one week. “We are facing unbearable inflation but the government is helpless before the broker mafia.” They said the market committee administration was responsible and should check brokers at the time of open bidding to fix controlled rates. They stated the artificial shortage created by the vendors further pushed the rates upwards because of lack of apathy of authorities.