LAHORE The price of vegetables are skyrocketing in the country due to shortage of supply from flood-hit areas of Sindh. The situation is not different in the city where even Sunday bazaars failed to address the issue. The potato has reached Rs 60 per kg in Sunday bazaars while it is being sold in open market as high as Rs100 per kg. Similarly the bittergourd, lady finger, bringle, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, fenugreek and cucumber almost every vegetable is available in the range of Rs60 to Rs100 per kg in Sunday bazaars. With price of pulses and veggies shooting up in the country, the makeshift Sasta Sunday Bazaar alone was the hope to balance the family budget. But for the last one month the veggies are unkind even in Sunday bazaars too. The high quality vegetables are completely missing from the makeshift market while the lowest standard items are being sold not less than Rs50 per kg there, frequent visits to different bazaars by the scribe reveal. The prices of fruits and vegetables again witnessed a surge, making these items inaccessible for common man. The bazaars, aimed at providing basic commodities to the people at reasonable rates, are providing no relief to them as there is no difference in prices of these bazaars and open markets. A shopkeeper observed that at present, hike in prices had cut down the sales of vegetables sharply, as people are unable to buy them. He said many people visited the bazaar but when they asked for rates they simply refused to purchase any item. The rise in prices has affected even the elite class, turning its budget upside down, said Pervin Ahsan, a housewife residing posh locality of the GOR II. Vendors said that the supply presently is short and crop was not so good due to floods in Sindh. And wholesalers do not seem to be in any hurry to release their stocks, maybe their holding capacity has increased which has led to the rise in prices, they added. But consumers are of the view that the middlemen are reaping the benefits of the increase in prices. In the past one month alone, the veggie prices have gone up by manifolds. Middlemen are reaping the benefit of the increased prices and not the farmers, they said. Vendors said markets are facing huge shortage of vegetables and other food items due to the floods in major vegetable producing areas of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The said that the government has resorted to imports from India but it has also started exploiting the situation by limited supplies. They demanded the government to abolish 25 percent regulatory duty on onion import from India to stabilise prices. They said that imports could not bring down prices as Indian crops also suffered heavily because of monsoon and high tax regime on vegetable imports. In the local market, vegetables, which were sold at Rs15 to Rs25 per kilogram before the floods, have now jumped to Rs80 to Rs100 per kilogram, adding to the woes of millions of people. Vendors said that that less than 80 truckloads of Indian tomato and other vegetables could not cause a sharp decline in tomato rates. They said that the Indian tomato, which is also being supplied to other parts of the country in limited quantity, would not be sufficient to fulfill the demand.