Tomato prices soar across cities

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NEW DELHI: Tomato prices in Kolkata moderated to Rs 80 on Tuesday after touching Rs 100 a kg on Monday. This was over 200% more compared to last year. As per data compiled by the consumer affairs ministry, the retail price of tomato has increased significantly across the cities. While in Mumbai it has increased by Rs 26 a kg, in Delhi the price was up by Rs 27.
The prices have increased due to heavy rainfall and increase in diesel prices.
The average price of tomato across the country on Tuesday was at Rs 50 a kg, which was double compared to exactly a year back. “The availability of this crop usually gets impacted due to heavy rain and this year because of the heavy monsoon, there has been short supply and prices have gone up,” said a government source.
The official data show that tomato prices in metro cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai – was at Rs 63, Rs 68, Rs 80 and Rs 50, respectively. But the prices were a little higher at vegetable shops.
Earlier, the Centre used to invoke the Essential Commodities Act in such a situation to ban hoarding and to push the prices artificially. But now the law has been amended through an ordinance and the amendment Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The government has argued that the change was necessary to stop arbitrary invocation of the law with punitive provisions.
Though the government still has the authority to impose restrictions in extraordinary situations, it remains to be seen whether the provision will be invoked anytime now.



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