An official said the fresh kharif onion should have started arriving by now, but it has not.
Onion prices have further risen to Rs 65-80 per kg in the retail market of the national capital on lower supply.
Mother Dairy, which has around 400 Safal retail stores in the Delhi-NCR, is selling loose onions at Rs 67 per kg. E-commerce portal Bigbasket is selling at Rs 67 per kg and Otipy at Rs 70 per kg.
Local vendors are selling onions at Rs 80 per kg.
Mother Dairy was selling onions at Rs 54-56 per kg on Wednesday and now the rates have touched Rs 67 per kg.
With the rise in retail prices, the Centre on Friday decided to step up the sale of buffer onion at a subsidised rate of Rs 25 per kg in retail markets in order to provide relief to consumers.
According to the Department of Consumer Affairs data, on Saturday the all-India average retail price of onion was Rs 45 per kg, but the maximum price was Rs 80 per kg. In Delhi, the average price was Rs 75 per kg.
"We have been offloading buffer onions since mid-August and we are stepping up the retail sale in order to check further rise in prices and provide relief to the consumers," Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh had told PTI on Friday.
According to the ministry, onion is being offloaded from the buffer stock in both wholesale and retail markets in those states where there is a sharp rise in prices.
Since mid-August, about 1.7 lakh tonnes of onion from the buffer stock has been offloaded in 22 states at different locations.
In retail markets, onion from the stock is being offloaded through two cooperative bodies NCCF and NAFED outlets and vehicles at a subsidised rate of Rs 25 per kg.
In Delhi too, buffer onion is being sold at this subsidised rate.
A senior ministry official said the delay in kharif onion sowing due to weather reasons has resulted in less coverage and late arrival of the crop.
The fresh kharif onion should have started arriving by now, but it has not.
With stored rabi onion getting exhausted and delay in the arrival of the kharif onion, there is a tight supply situation, resulting in price increases in both wholesale and retail markets, the official added.
He also mentioned that the government has doubled the buffer onion stock for the current year and this should improve domestic availability and check prices in the coming days.
For the 2023-24 fiscal year, the consumer affairs ministry through NCCF and NAFED has maintained a buffer onion stock of 5 lakh tonnes and plans to procure an additional 2 lakh tonnes of onion in the coming days.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)