Manmohan Singh expresses deep concern over sharp rise in onion prices

New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday expressing deep concern over the skyrocketing prices of onions said effective steps should be taken to bring down the prices of the commodity to affordable levels.

It has been reported that Dr. Singh has expressed deep concern over the extraordinary price rise in a letter sent to the Secretaries of Departments of Consumer Affairs and Agriculture.

According to sources, Dr. Singh's letter made references to the wholesale and retail prices and he desires that all necessary steps to effectively deal with the extraordinary price rise of onions and bring the prices down to an affordable level

Earlier today, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that prices of onions are likely to fall only after three weeks.

"Situation will be normal in two to three weeks. Onion prices rose because of rains in Nasik and other onion growing areas. Ban on onion exports should help reduce the prices," Pawar told reporters.

The Government on Monday decided to suspend onion exports till January 15, 2011, in the wake of rising prices of the commodity, which is being sold at Rs 60 to 70/kg in the retail market at present.

Agriculture cooperative major National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), a regulating agency, has been asked to stop giving fresh clearance to exporters, as the onion prices have increased in the retail markets across the country from 35 to 40 rupees a couple of days ago.

The decision to suspend exports was taken at an emergency meeting of NAFED held yesterday.

It has been reported that NAFED has also raised the Minimum Export Price to 1,200 US dollars per tonne for those 'no objection certificate' (NOCs), which is yet to be executed. (ANI)

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