Delhiites hope to get some relief from the rising onion prices from today, with Agri cooperative NAFED deciding to make it available at Rs 35-40 per kg, about half the prevailing market rate of Rs 70 per kg.

The prices of onion have almost doubled in past couple of days in Delhi and other cities of the country.

While traders are attributing the price rise to supply crunch, the government said it was mainly due to “hoarding and speculation.”

“Nafed and NCCF will be undertaking retail sales in the National capital from today at Rs 35-40 a kg,” NAFED Managing Director Sanjeev Chopra told reporters.

NAFED and NCCF (National Cooperative Consumers Federation of India) have 25 stores in the national capital.

Meanwhile, Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar expressed hope that prices of onion will moderate after three weeks.

“Onion prices will remain high for the next three weeks and the situation is likely to improve only after two—three weeks. Ban on onion exports should help reduce the prices,” Mr. Pawar said here.

The NAFED MD, who had chaired important meeting of Price Fixation Advisory Committee on onion yesterday hoped the steps will bring down the rate of the produce.

The meeting had decided to voluntarily suspend export of onion till January 15 and raise Minimum Export Price (MEP) to $1,200 per tonne.

“We hope the impact, the voluntary suspension of exports, raising of minimum export price and retail sales by Nafed and NCCF will definitely have a correction on prices.

We can’t understand the reasons for the price rise because there is no major damage of crops,” Mr. Chopra, who is also Joint Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, added.

He said all the existing NOCs for exports will be operated at raised price of $ 1200 from today onward.

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