Consumer Issues
Vegetable prices soaring again on ‘scarcity’
As if the delayed monsoon was not making lives much easier, consumers are being made to shell out more money for buying everyday vegetables. Especially, prices of tomatoes have zoomed to about Rs100 per kg within a fortnight across the country. While some experts feel that this is due to lower crop output, few consumers are blaming this on hoarders and the government for its failure to arrest this sudden price rise. 
 
In Mumbai, while the tomatoes are being sold at Rs100 per kg as against Rs50 two weeks ago, in Delhi the prices have gone up to Rs35 from Rs17.50 per kg. Prices of cluster beans, cauliflower, brinjal, bottle gourd, green chilli, capsicum and other vegetables have also gone up while green vegetables such as spinach, methi and coriander have been witnessing a 100% hike in prices over past few weeks.
 
 
According to Twitterati, this sudden rise in prices is due to not allowing vegetables enter the market. One Ajay Singh says, “Trucks are stopped on roads, only limited supply letting into the market. At the same time, procurement of tomatoes from farmers hit low of Rs3-4 per kg.”
 
  
Some feels that the agricultural produce market committee (APMC) are playing games with supply and demand. At present, farmers in Maharashtra have to sell their vegetables and fruits to licensed traders of APMCs, who then sell it to vendors and retailers. The state government proposed to allow farmers directly sell their produce to consumers, which apparently have not gone down well with the APMC traders and members of the unions.
 
   
The National Horticulture Board (NHB) has provided a flat growth forecast for crop year 2015-16 on vegetable production. NHB says vegetable production during 2015-16 would decline marginally to 168.5 million tonnes (mt) from 169.48 mt a year ago. High temperatures during April and May have affected tomato production adversely in the key growing belts of Maharashtra like Narayangaon and Junnar near Pune as well as northern parts of the country, say experts. 
 
Speaking with Business Standard, Shriram Gadhave, president of Vegetables Growers Association of India, said, “Yield has been severely lower this year, with farmers witnessing 25% recovery of major vegetables, after summer heat. As against eight tonnes per acre of tomato output in the normal case, farmers are harvesting two 2 tonnes or less. The quality of harvest is also poorer than expected.” 
 
According to Gadhave, the high temperatures during April and May resulted in around 85-90% of flowers and leaves of vegetable plants being dropped, leaving hardly 10% of the farmers with a crop, especially tomatoes. 
 
There has also been a sharp decline in arrivals due to crop losses. Add to this the severe drought in Maharashtra, which has affected overall production of vegetables. At Vashi, average arrival is down to 100 to 150 trucks from an average of over 500 trucks. This wholesale market receives about 500 to 550 trucks of vegetable and other agricultural produce every day. Due to the drought, most traders from Maharashtra are procuring vegetables from other states, like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka and Haryana. However, this is also not sufficient and has led to price increase, feels the traders.
 
 
According to experts, this situation is likely to remain for the next two months or till new crops comes in. “Vegetables sown now with the onset of the monsoon rain would be harvested only by the end of August. Till then, consumers will have bear with high prices,” Gadhave told Business Standard
 
Here are the wholesale prices as on 14 June 2016 at Mumbai market...
 
 

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COMMENTS

Suresh Gopal

11 months ago

I suppose there is a lot of market manipulation in all this

Amit Anam

11 months ago

Like dal price , here also the govt is caught sleeping while the prices were increasing and the media went gaga over chest thumping victory of our PM over USA, totally ignoring the price rise issue which is hurting over 90% of our population

Vijay Mallya declared proclaimed offender under Money Laundering Act
A special court in Mumbai declared business tycoon Vijay Mallya a proclaimed offender in a money laundering case following a petition by the Enforcement Directorate or ED.
 
Under law, the court naming somebody a proclaimed offender requires the person to appear at a specified place and at a specified time in not less than 30 days from the date of publishing of the order.
 
"It's an effective step towards securing the presence of Mallya and also one more chance to Mallya to come clean before the court in next 30 days. Failing which all his properties will be attached and sold by government," said lawyer Nitin Venegaonkar, representing the ED.
 
The ED has also said that it is in touch with Interpol to release a red corner notice, similar to an international arrest warrant, against Mr Mallya, who is believed to be living in the UK.

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9 out of 10 star-rated ceiling fans fail air delivery test
Nine out of the 10 five-star rated brands of ceiling fans in India that were tested did not meet the requirement of BEE on air delivery- the key performance parameter, says Consumer Voice in a report.
 
Consumer Voice, a voluntary organisation working towards consumer education, did a comparative study of ceiling fans to find the ones with the best energy efficiency. “Ceiling fans are a pretty generic product and spending time and resources to compare does seem like a bit of a waste. However when we take into perspective the millions of ceiling fans being sold annually in India, the amount of electrical energy being consumed and the potential savings in electrical energy that can be realised, the study seems quite justified,” it said.
 
The key points of the study were that the lesser known brand, Lazer, emerged as the top performer, followed by Usha and Marc. Lazer is also the value for money brand. All brands however, met the requirements of Indian standards. Air delivery was found to be less than 210m/3minutes except in the case of Lazer. In order to qualify for BEE’s star rating, it is required that air delivery be not less than 210m/ 3minutes. Higher the air delivery, better the breeze. 
 
As per the test results, only Lazer met the requirements of a five star rating in terms of service value (4.46) , power consumption (48.88 Watts) and air delivery (210/3minutes). It may be noted that higher the service value, better the energy efficiency and air delivered. Also lower the power input, lesser the electricity bill. All the brands passed in the service value test. All the brands were found to be energy efficient, consuming between 48.88 watts and 51.25 watts, Consumer Voice said.
 
It says, only two brands, Lazer and V-Guard had the ISI mark, however, while both met the requirements of Indian Standards, V-Guard did not meet BEE’s requirements for a five star rating in terms of air delivery. “None of the 10 brands provided a standard speed regulator compatible with the fan, often leading to the usage of sub-standard regulators by users and thereby possibly affecting the fan’s performance,” it added.
 
According to the study, Orient was the heaviest at 3.586kg; V-Guard weighed the least at only 2.936kg (motor with blades). The sections the fans were tested on air delivery, service value, power input, starting and running and speed. All the Ceiling fans provided complete marking information. However, Havells, Khaitan, Marc, Crompton Greaves and Orient did not come with an instruction manual. All the ceiling fans were packed in hard carton boxes with thermocol or cardboard supports.
 
Consumer Voice’s recommendations is that Indian manufacturers need to put in extra efforts to improve air delivery and service value in order to enable consumers to realise optimal energy savings. Overall, only one brand, Lazer, qualified for BEE’s five-star rating. The remaining nine were found lower on air delivery. “There is scope for making ‘super-efficient’ fans by bringing down input power by 5% to 10%. A regulator should be capable of reducing the speed of the fan to at least 50%,” it added. 
 
Consumer Voice is a voluntary action group, consisting of academicians, professionals and volunteers channelising their energies towards creating informed consumers. You can subscriber to their magazine here.
 

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COMMENTS

Vinayak Mahamunkar

10 months ago

very usefull
information.

Suresh Gopal

11 months ago

Outsourcing dilutes quality checks

Narendra Doshi

11 months ago

Surprising but USEFUL data.

suneel kumar gupta

11 months ago

Good work done

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