As onion prices skyrocketed to Rs 70-80 a kg in retail markets, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said he would talk to ministries concerned to facilitate their supply to consumers.

“It is very unfortunate that onion prices have risen very high...Now there is a mismatch between supply from mandi to the consumer point. Those bottlenecks have to be removed and I will talk to concerned ministries,” the Finance Minister told reporters.

He hoped that appropriate steps will be taken after ban on onion exports on Monday. “I hope appropriate steps will be taken. Exports have already been banned,” he said.

Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid expressed inability of the government to check prices at every shop.

“Whenever something happens in the market...at every shop the government cannot censor,” he said.

Yesterday, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had also attributed the spiralling onion prices to hoarding.

“Price rise is because of hoarding. There is enough stock of onion in the country,” he had said.

The price rise could also be partly attributed to damage of crops, particularly in Maharashtra, due to unseasonal rains, but that would contribute only 15-20 per cent rise, officials said.

Onion prices have soared to Rs 70-80 per kg in the retail markets in Delhi and many other important cities of the country from Rs 35-40 a couple of days ago.

The government had on Monday banned onion exports till January 15 following skyrocketing prices.

It had also more than doubled the minimum export price to 1,200 dollars per tonne from 525 dollars per tonne for the contracts already approved by the regulating agency NAFED.

In Delhi, NAFED and NCCF (National Consumer Cooperative Federation) have decided to sell onion at cheaper rates through their retail outlets.