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ASSOCHAM warns of possible price hike of vegetables

ASSOCHAM warns of possible price hike of vegetables
The bad days are ahead for the city which is already facing huge problems due to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as several small industrial and commercial units are fighting for survival due to low sale. 

Industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) on Tuesday alerted the government agencies for possible hike in the price of vegetables and essential commodities in the country.  However, the industry body has not commented on demonetisation and its impact but it has indicated increase in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“The prices of essential products, which are of national interest, has been continuously rising such as cereals, rice, wheat, potato, fruits, milk, egg, meat and fish which policy makers should check and address through supply side responses, though it is good to note that prices of vegetables and onions have been managed well,” said ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat in a press statement. 

The industry body emphasised that while the headline WPI remains at a modest level, an eye must be kept on the shooting prices of sugar, and manufactured food prices. “Even at the WPI level, the year on year sugar prices have gone up by over 29 per cent and manufactured products too are growing by over double digits,” added Rawat. He further expressed his concerns on the fact that the price of pulses rising by 22 per cent and potato by over 60 per cent. “The prices of potato and pulses should be watched carefully so that the inflation does not come in the way of moderating interest rates,” he suggested the Central government. 

The dealers in wholesale markets in Delhi are waiting the situations to be normalised but expressed their concerns if it lingers. “We can afford it for some time but if the situation continues everybody will be affected,” said a wholesale dealer in Azadpur Whole Sale market. 

The industry body further stated that the WPI figures of October month may give some relief to manufacturers and producers since earlier it was hampering their pricing power and profitability and limiting their potential to increase capital expenditure. “The increase in WPI may result in increase in CPI which may affect the households and final consumers badly. Therefore, policy makers should take concrete steps to minimise the transition of price rise from WPI to CPI,” warns the ASSOCHAM.
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