Delhi Government to arrange onion sale at reasonable rates by deploying 50 mobile vans across the city
Concerned over rising prices of onions in the Capital, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wrote to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday requesting him to curtail onion exports in order to stabilise prices. Onion prices remained high in the Capital at Rs.60-80 per kg even as wholesale rates fell by Rs.5 per kg on increased supply.
The Delhi Government held a high-level meeting over the rising trend in onion prices and decided to arrange its sale at reasonable rates by deploying 50 mobile vans across the city. The vans will be visiting various localities to ensure sale of onions at the doorstep of citizens.
The Department of Food and Civil Supplies and Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (Azadpur) has been requested to work in tandem to start deployment of vans from Saturday.
At the meeting, attended among others by Development Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf, it was decided that strict action will be taken against hoarders and black marketeers.
The Government will also request other States such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, from where stocks arrive in the Capital, to do the same.
The officials noted that the arrival in Delhi used to be around 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes per day but it has gone down to about 800 to 1,000 tonnes per day and this was a major reason for the sharp rise in prices.
As per an estimate, a total of 6.39 lakh tonnes of onion was exported during April-July period.
The Assembly elections in Delhi are likely to be held in November. In 1989, the then BJP government was voted out of power and high onion prices was attributed as one of the main reasons for the BJP’s defeat.
Last week, the Delhi Government had started selling the vegetable at “reasonable” rates at 350 outlets including 280 Mother Dairy outlets. These outlets are selling the vegetable at Rs.52 per kg. “The Government is concerned over the rising onion prices. The shortfall in arrival is due to rain in onion producing States,” said Mr. Yusuf.
At Lasalgaon in Nashik, Asia’s largest wholesale market for onion, the rate has slightly come down to Rs.45 per kg on Tuesday from Rs.46 a kg, National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) data showed.
The spurt in onion prices, which was selling at Rs.20 per kg a few weeks ago, has disturbed the kitchen budget of most consumers who are already facing the brunt of high prices of tomato, pulses and cereals. Onion is a key ingredient in many Indian dishes. The price of onion had touched Rs.40 in retail markets in mid-July also but it had come down after supply was normalised.