Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the sharp rise in onion prices and said effective steps should be taken to bring down the prices to affordable levels.

In a letter to the secretaries of Departments of Consumer Affairs and Agriculture, the Prime Minister’s Office said that Dr. Singh expressed deep concern over the “extraordinary price rise”.

Onion prices have touched up to Rs. 70 a kg across many cities from just half the level till recently, possibly due to supply disruption, but authorities have blamed it on hoarding.

“PM desires that all necessary steps to effectively deal with the extraordinary price rise of onions and bring the prices down to an affordable level,” a source said.

Dr. Singh wanted that steps should be taken expeditiously and the impact should be monitored on a day-to-day basis, sources said, adding that the PM’s letter also made references to the wholesale and retail prices.