Blames it on delay in transporting stocks from Nashik

The spiralling onion prices in parts of north India will be arrested in the next few days on improved supplies from Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of Maharashtra, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here on Wednesday.

He said there were adequate stocks in the country. The current problem was because of the delay in transporting stocks from Nashik in Maharashtra, he told journalists on the sidelines of a conference of ministers from States.

“I have received a communication from Nashik and spoken to some traders. They complain that they are not getting railway wagons to transport onion to northern parts of the country. In fact, they are worried about a fall in the [wholesale] prices of onions if stocks are not lifted.”

“This was discussed with the Cabinet Secretary on Tuesday. I hope they will initiate corrective action. If wagons are made available, I am sure the situation will improve in another 4 to 5 days,” he told journalists.

In the last few days, onion prices have gone up in Delhi to over Rs.30 a kg compared to about Rs.12 to Rs.13 a kg in the corresponding period last year. This is a cause for concern for the Congress government in Delhi which faces election at the end of the year.

Mr. Pawar said the drought in Maharashtra had affected onion production but stocks were adequate to meet the demand. Moreover, fresh supplies from Gujarat, Rajasthan and other parts of Maharashtra from mid-February would ease the situation.

More In: National | News