Kolkata: Essential commodities are becoming dearer by the day in the metropolis as fuel prices continue to touch new highs, burning a hole in the pockets of the common man.

Prices of vegetables, foodgrains and cooking oil have been on the upward curve for the last one week in most Kolkata markets, traders said.

Petrol and diesel prices were on Tuesday hiked by 80 paise a litre each, taking the total increase in rates in the last two weeks to Rs 9.20 per litre, according to a price notification of state fuel retailers.

In Kolkata, a litre of petrol costs Rs 114.28 and diesel Rs 99.02 as of Tuesday.

This is the 13th increase in prices since the ending of a four-and-half-month long hiatus in rate revision on March 22.

Vegetables, which should ideally be priced at Rs 25-30 a kg, are selling at Rs 40-50 per kg… This is due to the non-stop rise in fuel prices, said Rabindranath Kole, a member of the West Bengal government’s task force on agriculture.

Gopal Pal, a potato wholesaler in the city’s Burrabazar area, said prices have risen by at least Rs 50 per bag in the last two-three days.

A bag of S1′ potatoes is currently selling at Rs 840, the Jyoti’ variety is priced at Rs 950 and Chandramukhi’ at Rs 1,150, Pal said.

The price of paddy has shot up by Rs 7-10 per kg at the retail level depending on the variety, a rice retailer said.

Cooking oil has also borne the brunt of the steep rise in fuel prices, with a litre of mustard oil costing Rs 195-210 from Rs 165-180 a few weeks back, traders said.

On Monday, several private bus and cab operators said they were contemplating taking vehicles off the roads if the state and central governments did not provide some succour in the form of an allowance or make way for fare hikes to support the ailing transport sector.

As fuel does not come under GST, central excise and VAT get levied on petrol and diesel.

West Bengal imposes 25 per cent VAT on petrol and 17 per cent on diesel.

The central government levies Rs 27.90 excise on every litre of petrol and Rs 21.80 on diesel.

Also read | Fuel price hike: Buses, taxis in Bengal may go off roads if fares not revised


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