As the spiralling prices of vegetables continue to hit the middle class hard, a survey has reported that over 44 percent of Indian households now pay more than Rs 60 for a kilo of tomato.
According to the study by LocalCircles, 44 percent of the 19,000 people it covered paid a price of Rs 75 per kilogram for tomatoes.
The average price of tomato has shot up 25 percent in the last two months, the survey found.
In Delhi, many consumers reported that they have paid Rs 70-120 per kg for tomatoes in the last 60 days, LocalCircles said, adding that the prices have crossed Rs 100 a kg in cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai.
The wholesale price-based inflation spiked to five-month high of 12.54 percent in October, mainly due to a rise in prices of manufactured products and crude petroleum. The retail inflation also inched up to 4.48 percent in October due to an uptick in food prices.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on November 29 said that the price situation of major essential commodities is being monitored by the government on a regular basis and corrective actions are being taken.
“The uptrend in inflation has been largely led by exogenous factors like increased international prices of crude oil and edible oils which have an impact on domestic inflation due to India’s import dependence on these items,” she said.
Several supply-side measures have been taken by the government to curb the inflationary pressures, the minister said.
The government has said that average retail price of tomato is likely to soften from December with the arrival of fresh crop from northern states. “Tomato arrivals from North Indian states will add to the availability and lead to fall in prices. In December, the arrival is expected to be at par with last year,” the Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Explaining the reasons for the spike in tomato prices, the ministry said, retail tomato prices have risen from September-end due to unseasonal rain in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, which led to crop damage and delay in arrival from these states.(With agency inputs)