IDUKKI: Term it injustice at the frontier. Those staying in Kumily, the border town of Idukki district, and its suburbs will have to think twice before buying vegetables from the market. Apparently, the prices of veggies from Tamil Nadu go on an upward spiral once they cross the border at Kumily.
As per the price list on Tuesday, the difference in the cost of vegetables in the markets of Kumily and Cumbum - the nearest town in Tamil Nadu - ranges from zero to 350 per cent. Authorities are struggling to find a reason for the difference even after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system removing separate taxes at the frontiers.
“In fact, the vegetable suppliers incur only transportation cost,” said Joseph Sebastian, a vegetable vendor. “Yet, they are charging an unfair price. We can’t understand the reason for such a huge difference as Cumbum is only 23 km away from Kumily.”
The biggest difference is in the price of cucumber. While it costs Rs 15 per kg in Tamil Nadu, it is sold at Rs 50 per kg in Kerala. There is a difference of up to 50 per cent in the price of other vegetables. However, the price of a few other items are a notch higher in Tamil Nadu.
Oops! They go through the roof
The prices of vegetables soared in the retail market in Palakkad district sharing its border with Tamil Nadu. The price of cowpea is Rs 60 per kg, while ladies’ finger is Rs 70 per kg. The price of tomato was Rs 50 per kg and onion touched Rs 110 per kg. Madhu, a vegetable merchant from Koduvayur, said as it was not seasonal, the prices were on the higher side. Ramesh, a consumer, said the budget was going haywire even for a small family. It costs Rs 300 to Rs 500 to purchase vegetables for a week.
Salad days are here again Residents of the district can now dig into their favourite vegetarian dishes without feeling the pinch. The retail markets in Kozhikode witnessed a considerable decrease in the price of vegetables after the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).