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Centre allowed onions to rot: MP

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‘It did nothing to arrest price rise’

The government is playing the role of a “mere spectator” as onion prices hit the roof, Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP K.K. Ragesh said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

He said that in various parts of the country, onion prices had reached ₹120 a kg. Speaking during Zero Hour, when members are allowed to raise issues of national importance, Mr. Ragesh said that while replying to a question, Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan had said that “32,000 tonnes of onion has rotted in our godowns”.

“The government is allowing onions to rot in godowns but not providing it to the people,” Mr. Ragesh said.

The government has claimed that the price rise, which started in October, is due to a fall in production, he said, adding that there has been a 30% fall in production. “The government was aware of the rise in demand. But unfortunately, what role has the government played? I would like to know whether the government had intervened. Now, sir, the government has played a mere spectator’s role,” he said.

Mr. Ragesh said that the price rise had not happened for the first time. Every November and December, onion prices go up. “The government could have procured onions and stored it in godowns and the government could have intervened in the market. Why is the government not doing that,” he asked.

He alleged that hoarders and black marketeers were benefiting from the escalation in the prices of onions, and the government was aiding them by not intervening.

Aam Aadmi Party MPs held a protest wearing garlands made of onions in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament before the start of the session. “There is a big scam related to onions. The Central government is saying that 32 thousand metric tonnes of onions have decayed. The Delhi government had demanded 10 trucks of onions every day till December 9. From November 23, our onion supply was stalled by the Central government,” Mr. Singh said.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:29:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-allowed-onions-to-rot-mp/article30152652.ece

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