Onion prices touched an all-time high of Rs 165 in Goa’s capital Panaji on Friday, PTI reported. The government’s struggle to boost the supplies in market has led to a sharp jump in prices.
According to the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, the prices of onions have gone above Rs 100 per kg in retail markets in most cities. It was sold at Rs 150 per kg in Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Wayanad in Kerala. In Kolkata and Chennai, it was sold for Rs 140 per kg, and in Gurugram and Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district, it was sold for Rs 120 per kg. Retail price in Delhi was Rs 100 per kg, according to the National Horticulture Board, reported The Hindu. Whereas, in Maharashtra’s Nashik, onions were sold at Rs 75 per kg on Friday.
In Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Danve Raosaheb Dadarao blamed rains for damaging onion crops and said it was the main reason that the costs have escalated. “Much of onion has been damaged in Maharashtra, the key growing state,” he said. “However, the government has supplied buffer stock and asked MMTC to import onions and it should arrive by January 20.”
He added that the Union Cabinet has also given its approval to the import of 1.2 lakh onions by central trade agency MMTC. “Onions are highly perishable commodity that is prone to weight and moisture loss, quality deterioration, sprouting, losses in grading and separation,” Dadarao said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday discussed the current situation in various states, as well as import arrivals and measures taken to prevent hoarding in a review meeting. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba had attended the meeting.
Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said the Centre was importing 6,090 tonnes of onions from Egypt and another 11,000 tonnes from Turkey. These will land in India between December 15 and January 15. “Another 4,000 tonnes will arrive from Turkey by mid-January. Moreover, three more tenders of 5,000 tonnes each have been floated,” he tweeted on Thursday.
Traders expect the price of onions to come down only in January, when a fresh crop is harvested and arrivals at the market begin to increase.