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India: Chennai traders warn of 20% rises

Traders at the Koyambedu wholesale complex say that planned maintenance fee rises and entry fees may leave them with little choice but to increase prices by around 20%, as of the 10th April.

Many vegetable lines are already expensive due to slow supply and the prospect of operational cost increases might push these up even further at a time when purchasing is becoming something of a challenge for the average consumer.

During a recent meeting with officials, it was decided that the maintenance fee would not be collected for the next few days until a consensus was arrived at with the traders. At present, the traders have been asked to pay Rs.1.50 per sq.ft ($0.03 US.

The fee, which was originally Rs., was scrapped in 2008, but now looks to be reintroduced. There is opposition to the move as many trades say facilities are unsatisfactory.

The timing makes for a a double whammy as the entry price is also set to increase. Visitors in two and four wheel vehicles have to pay Rs.5 and Rs.10. for parking, but those in commercial vehicles have to pay between Rs.60 and Rs.200 per trip.

Lorry drivers seek to reimburse their costs to traders, meaning that traders will be likely to seek to cover the cost, in turn, by increasing retail prices.

Source: www.thehindu.com

Publication date: 4/2/2012


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