Standing in line for exchanging notes is killing vendors' time for carrying out business activities

Veggie prices in Bengaluru wholesale markets remain same but sales dip
news Demonetisation Sunday, November 13, 2016 - 17:47

The Modi-government’s move to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes sent many into a tizzy, with many newspapers predicting that vegetable and fruit prices might witness an increase.

However, at the time of writing, the prices in Bengaluru's wholesale markets have not seen an increase on account of demonitisation. 

“The prices have remained the same since the last week. We have not seen any changes happening so far. The price of lime has, however, dropped to Re 1 per lime, as it does not usually sell much during the winter,” said Razim Khan, a vegetable vendor at K R Market in Bengaluru.

Potatoes are being sold at Rs 20 per kg, carrots and beans at Rs 40, brinjal at Rs 20, tomatoes at Rs 8, capsicum at Rs 30, cabbage at Rs 13 and green chilies at Rs 25 per kg respectively.

The price of fruits, according to most vendors at the market has also remained unchanged. 

Apples are being sold at Rs 100 per kg, bananas at Rs 25 (big known as robusta) and 55 (small known as dwarf cavendish), oranges at Rs 60, mausambi at Rs 120, black grapes at Rs 130, Papaya at Rs 25 and watermelon at Rs 14 per kg respectively. 

However, vendors said that the price of mausambi (sweet lime) has increased from the earlier Rs 80. “We don’t know for sure why the price goes up. However, it usually increases during this time of the year,” said Venkateshappa, a fruit vendor at the wholesale market.

When asked if the demonetization had resulted in a drop in sales, vendors did agree. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“On November 8, I had bought vegetables worth Rs 20,000. I sold all my wares and made a profit of Rs 2,000. However, since the notes have been banned, everyone who wants to buy vegetables offers Rs 500. Initially I gave away all my change so that I could at least sell some of the vegetables I had brought. Everyone wants us to accept the banned notes but no one wants to take it from us. I have experienced a 60-70% dip in sales. I hope it will get better soon,” said Manjunath Raddy, a wholesale vegetable vendor at K R Market.

“Before the ban, I used to make around Rs 50,000-1,00,000 per day. Since the ban has been introduced, it has become difficult to earn even Rs 15,000. The banks will not allow us to withdraw more than Rs 10,000 per day. People do not want to buy stale fruits and we don’t have enough money to buy fresh fruits. The prices have remained the same but customers expect us to have that sort of change, which we do not,” said M Deva, owner of a whole sale fruit shop, MRD fruits at K R Market.

“I got two Rs 2,000 notes from the bank and I approached many people to exchange the new notes for Rs 100 ones and I was refused by all of them. The day after the ban, I closed my shop and went home. The next day I managed to get Rs 100 notes and I stopped accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The business has been slow because every day I have to stand in line to get my money exchanged at the bank. It is becoming a huge inconvenience,” said Ramachandra, owner of Sri Vinayaka Mandi, a whole sale vegetable vendor at K R Market.


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