Even as the retail price of onions remains at around Rs. 60 per kg in most cosmopolitan markets and the selling price is as high as Rs. 100 per kg in parts of the north-east region, the open market price of tomato has shot up to between Rs. 64 and Rs. 80 per kg in the national capital.
While the average wholesale price of onion is quoted at Rs. 37 per kg, the price of tomato is Rs. 30 per kg.
Only six months ago, onions were selling at Rs. 8.50 per kg and tomato at Rs. 9.50 paise in wholesale mandis.
On Tuesday, as per government data, onions were being sold at Rs. 100 per kg in Aizwal, Rs. 81 in Ernakulam, Rs. 80 in Hissar, Shillong and Dimapur, and at Rs. 64 in Delhi.
Tomatoes were priced at Rs. 80 per kg in Port Blair, Rs. 70 in Aizwal and Rs. 60 in Jammu, on account of low supply from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
However, in Bhopal tomatoes were priced at Rs. 15 per kg and in Bengaluru, onions were selling at Rs. 32 per kg.
Onion prices are likely to remain above normal for another 10 days when fresh harvest will start arriving from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka, official sources said.
‘Delhi government did not buy onions’
On Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan revealed that the Delhi government did not purchase any onions from Nashik to tide over the situation as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh had done.
“Delhi teams came and saw but did not buy any onions,’’ he told journalists here.
Rising onion price is a big issue in poll-bound Delhi and in such a situation, Mr. Chavan’s remarks assume significance. At the height of the crisis, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had met Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and announced that she would purchase onions from Nashik markets ‘directly’. But that did not happen, said Mr. Chavan.
Last week, the central government said that onion production in Maharashtra, the biggest onion-producing State, was lower by about 1.5 million tonnes than projected by the State, but Mr. Chavan denied reports of ‘over reporting’ by his government.
Instead, he expressed fear that after around 10 days, there might be a ‘reverse crisis’ – a steep fall in the price of onions, which would impact farmers.