Truckers’ Strike: Essential food prices spiralling upwards

The truckers’ strike has entered its fifth day with state transporters still seeking relief from rising costs owing to a spike in diesel prices, toll charges, third-party insurance and national permits for passenger vehicles.

Why is this important

  • According to the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), trade worth Rs. 70 bn has been affected in Tamil Nadu with vegetable prices soaring in various parts, especially in Chennai. About 4,60,000 trucks are off road in the sate. The following are the hikes for some items:

vegetable price hike

  • Eggs, fruits and fish being exported from Andhra Pradesh to other states have increased 10-15%.
  • About 1,50,000 trucks have kept off the road in Uttar Pradesh with the total economic loss estimated at about Rs 20 billion. Potato has seen a 25% rise (Rs 20/Kg to Rs. 25/Kg)  and onion prices have reported 65% (Rs 15/kg to Rs 25/kg).
  • Delhi’s Azadput market has seen supply disruptions with vegetable prices rising by 25-30% and fruit prices by 10%. Potato prices have shot up by 12% ₹958/quintal to ₹1,073. The tomato prices have increased by over 13% from ₹1,436/quintal to ₹1,629/quintal.
  • The strike along with continuous rains in the western region has led to a 50-60% jump in vegetable prices. In Nashik, the price of politically sensitive onion has inched up from ₹1,050/quintal to ₹1,100.

Impact

  • AIMTC has claimed that no fresh bookings are being done for commodities, even the essential ones. Once the existing stock gets exhausted, this could lead to an acute shortage and therefore the prices could further spiral upwards.
  • This strike can cause inflationary pressure on the economy and the household budgets could be impacted.
  • The minimum support price announced by the government for major crops such as wheat, rice, mustard and chana could put further pressure on food inflation.
  • This strike can further lead to a higher inflation as the surge in crude oil prices and weakening rupee has already led to CPI accelerating to 5% in June from 4.87% in May.

CPI

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