With the prices of onion firming up across the country amid widespread stocking by wholesalers and retailers in the belief that an impending shortage is on the cards, the Delhi Government on Thursday reviewed the situation and urged the Centre to curb onion exports while reiterating that it would clamp down hard on hoarding to keep prices under check.

With the retail price of onion in the Capital hovering around the Rs.30-mark, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit convened a meeting to discuss the issue. While the average wholesale price on Wednesday was Rs.16 per kg and maximum Rs.21 per kg, the Government is concerned at the way in which the retail prices have shot up.

Ms. Dikshit said a close watch is being kept on the situation and warned of tough action against hoarders.

The meeting was also attended by Delhi Ministers Haroon Yusuf and Raj Kumar Chauhan as also Secretary (Food Supply) Kumar Swami, and officials of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee.

The APMC Board members said at the meeting that the price situation may ease in a fortnight due to improved arrival of onion from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.

The Chief Minister said she has also written to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to seek his intervention in the matter and urged him to get onion export curtailed at the earliest. “This would bring the desired improvement in onion prices,” she said.