Millennium Post

Traders apprehensive of hike in prices of perishable goods in coming days

Traders perceive a huge rise in prices of perishable goods – including fishes and vegetables – soon after money becomes available with common people. The reason for the hike is that traders would have to make up for the losses incurred during these few days since the announcement of demonetisation.

According to representatives of different associations in markets in the city, the traders who sell perishable goods have incurred maximum losses. The situation turned worse when there were no prospective buyers even on Sunday morning in local markets in the city and its adjacent areas.

Traders who sell perishable goods such as vegetables, fruits and fishes need to clear their stock within a day or two. However, there were very few buyers in the market since the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening. As a result, the traders failed to clear their stock.

Despite the demonetization scare, truck load of vegetables, fruits and fishes had reached the city markets and its suburbs early Wednesday morning, as traders had already placed the order to supply the same amount of goods as they buy on regular days from wholesale markets.

Monotosh Hazra, a fish trader in Dum Dum market, said: “Without knowing the consequence of demonetisation of notes I had bought fishes worth Rs 10,000 from the wholesale market, as I usually do on a week day. But I managed to sell fishes worth only Rs 3,000 on Wednesday.”

Hazra spent some more money to buy ice to preserve the fish that he failed to sell on that day. However, the situation turned worse when he had to face the same debacle for four consecutive days.

“I couldn’t sell the remaining stock in the next three days. It is not possible to store the fishes in good condition for more than four days and we cannot sell such goods to our regular customers. As a result, we have incurred heavy losses,” said Hazra.

He further added that the price of perishable goods would go up as the wholesalers have incurred more losses than local traders and the former are bound to increase the price of goods to make up their losses.

“The local traders would have their hands tied if they have to procure goods at a higher rate from wholesalers,” Hazra said.

The situation of fruit and vegetable sellers in local markets is more severe, as they kept their stalls closed on Friday and Saturday, after facing heavy losses on Wednesday and Thursday. They again opened their shops on Sunday, but it was not of much help as there were not many buyers and most shopkeepers had to sit idle.

Anish Khan, who owns a meat shop, claimed that sale in his shops reaches to around Rs 60,000 to Rs 65,000 on a regular day. But on Sunday, he managed a business of only Rs 8,000. “It will leave a heavy impact on the market and prices of mainly the perishable goods are likely to go up in the next two to three weeks,” he said.

Demonetisation affects trade in India-Bangladesh route

Demonetisation marred the Indian-Bangladesh trade at Malda’s Mahadipur Land Port. The trade at Mahadipur Zero Point is incurring loss of Rs 1 crore per day and the export decreases in an alarming rate.

This land post is the second largest in India and produces a great business of export and import collectively around Rs 4,000 crore.

However, the traders are worried that the business would go down below Rs 1,000 crore if this turmoil continues.

“The exports have gone down by Rs 3 crore and we are facing a loss of Rs 1 crore per day. This is really unfortunate. The Centre should do something for us,’ said Samir Ghosh, chairman of the Mahadipur export association.

Ghosh also pointed out that around 350 trucks had been passing from both the country collectively, but the number has gone down to 150.

“The Central government should get into the depth of this problem. Foreign currencies are not coming to the country,” he said.

However, the lorries and heavy trucks from Bangladesh takes around Rs 1,000-2,000 to come to India through various check posts. But they do not have smaller denominations to pay.

“Those lorries are now standing there. We cannot help them out,” said Bhupati Mondal, President of Mahadipur Clearing and Forwarding Welfare Association.

Meanwhile, Bangladeshis are having a harrowing time in Bengal during the ongoing currency note turmoil.

The Bangladeshi nationals who had come to Kolkata for treatment faced huge problems as most of these families are carrying old notes of Rs 500 with some of them also having Rs 1,000 notes.

Most of these Bangladeshi nationals were brought to their knees after they came to know that government of India have cancelled those two kinds of currency notes. The Deputy High Commission Of Bangladesh – Kolkata requested the hospitals to take the matter seriously so that no Bangladeshi would face problem in the city.

Mukul Hasan, a Bangladeshi national, who hails from Narayanganj, recently underwent a bypass surgery in a hospital in Kolkata and returned on Tuesday for follow-up examinations.

He had brought US dollars with him, which he exchanged for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations as soon as he arrived in Kolkata.

As Bangladeshi tourists prefer to bring in Bangladeshi ‘taka’ over US dollar, they end up with large denominations of the Indian currency for convenience.

Several hospitals which have got the missive from Bangladesh Deputy High Commission are in a fix about how to help Bangladeshis.
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