Govt washes its hands of high onion prices

Govt washes its hands of high onion prices

Even as the prices of onion and tomatoes continue to remain high, the Delhi government on Friday claimed that there is enough supply of onions in the national capital and blamed the spiralling prices on artificial scarcity created by the hoarders.

However, the traders blamed the price rise on the supply chain of onion and tomatoes that has been hit across the country, and claimed that prices are not likely to stabilise before end of next month.

The price of onion has reached Rs 35-40 in the retail market while tomato is selling in the range of Rs 70-80 in the national capital, almost three times higher than the price during the same time last year. The prices in the retail market continues to remain high even as the price of onion and tomato in the wholesale market in the capital on Friday was Rs 24 and 31, respectively.

 “Strict action would be taken against hoarders for creating artificial scarcity. The enforcement department would conduct raids against hoarders and vendors selling vegetables at higher rates,” said Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Haroon Yusuf.

The minister convened a review meeting over availability of vegetables in the city which was attended by the his cabinet colleague Raj Kumar Chauhan, food and civil supplies secretary SS Yadav, Chairman of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), Rajendra Sharma and leaders of  different vegetable vendors' union.

 Officials claimed that while the daily demand for onion in Delhi is 400 tonnes, the daily supply is around 1,000 tonne. “There is stock of around 2,000 tonne to meet the crisis,” an official said.  However, the traders in the capital said the prices of onion and tomatos have increased as the supply has been from across the country.

“Major supply of onion comes from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. Supply has been affected from all the three states for the last 15-20 days. One of the major suppliers of tomatoes is Uttarakhand from where supply this season is yet to start.

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