The steep increase in onion prices due to supply shortage has forced the Delhi government to take corrective measures to lessen the burden on the common man. The retail price of onions have shot from Rs 40 per kilogramme to Rs 60 and 70 in the national capital in a week.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the government will supply onions at Rs 24 per kilogramme across the city via mobile vans. "We are about to take a step regarding the shooting onion prices here. We are procuring onions and we'll try to supply them to the maximum areas across the city via mobile vans. Tenders have been floated for the transportation of onions. I believe we will start supplying at the soonest," Mr Kejriwal said.
Onions are selling costlier than apples at wholesale markets in the national capital - while onion is being sold at Rs 50 per kg, the seasonal apple, of average quality, is available at Rs 30-40 per kg in the market, news agency IANS reported.
The centre has also stepped in to ensure that there is enough supply of onions in the market. In a bid to restrict onion export, the government has set its minimum export price (MEP) at $850 FOB (free on board) per tonne.
Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the crisis was a "temporary phase that arose due tsupply disruption because of floods in main-growing states like Maharasthra and Karnataka. "It is a temporary phase. Every year we face this problem (price rise) in three main perishable commodities potato, onion and tomato. This year, it is onion. However, we have enough supply in our buffer," Mr Paswan told reporters.
The country has enough onion production and the Centre has also created a buffer stock of 56,000 tonne to address any shortages, he said.
The prices of the vegetable shot up across the country last week due to supply shortage from major onion growing states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. The reduce supply was attributed to the recent floods in these regions.
Onion was quoted 25 per cent higher last week at Delhi's Azadpur Mandi, a major market of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC). Several other markets in the country too witnessed a steep rise in onion prices.
As per the data maintained by consumer affairs ministry, retail onion prices stand at Rs 57/kg in Delhi, Rs 56/kg in Mumbai, Rs 48/kg in Kolkata, Rs 34/kg in Chennai.
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