Vegetable price rise

As vegetable prices are higher this winter, several theories have come up as to the factors that are responsible for this. One claims that the prices are more in cities/towns than in villages and the gap has widened. Another says retailers in cities have hiked margins since the cost of living has gone up exponentially. As vegetable is a low-value item, the fixed minimum margin required to sell it is more than or equal to its buying cost; on an item of, say, ₹100, if a retailer adds ₹20 no one complains.

The other usual explanation is that production of vegetables has gone down in spite of tall claims by the government, and that the market is the mirror of actual demand and supply. Farmers are said to have shifted from vegetables to agriculture crops, where prices are relatively stable and robust this year compared to previous years.

Revival of Bombay Club?

Has the influential Bombay Club, which was formed in 1993 to advocate protectionist policies against foreign competition, reared its head once again in the liberalised era? It seems so, going by the chatter in the corridors of power ahead of the interim Budget.

The buzz is domestic EV makers, including Tata Motors and Mahindra, are working their backchannels to prevent possible handing out of incentives or reduction in import duty on electric vehicles in the upcoming Budget.

Such a strategy, it is felt, would keep Tesla away from the Indian market at least for a year.

All eyes are now on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget.

It’s advantage Tesla for now, said an economy watcher, who quipped that the time has come for ‘Bombay Club’ to be rechristened as ‘Mumbai Club’.

TN minister on MoUs

Some States, including Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra, signed MoUs with companies at the World Economic Forum in Davos recently. However, Tamil Nadu Industries Minister TRB Rajaa, who led a delegation to Davos, said he does not believe in that.

“Many of our friends were signing MoU after MoU. I don’t know how you can sign an MoU with somebody with whom you just met two hours before.” He said what Tamil Nadu does is go in-depth about a company, and what it is capable of. “We have done that for the Global Investors Meet,” Rajaa added.

In the name of Lord Ram

The consecration of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya had swept the country the whole of last week. While corporate honchos played the role of commoners at the by-invite-only event in UP, India Inc has launched a slew of products in the name of Ram. For instance, Avro Furniture has launched ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chairs with Lord Ram’s picture embossed on it. The company claimed, it lets consumers connect with the piece of furniture that holds personal and cultural significance. Hey Ram!