Onion price hike hits Indian consumers

Written by: Manoj Kumar Ramesh
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Siliguri/Jaipur/New Delhi, Jan 9 (ANI): The skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, especially onions, have left the middle and poor class families a worried lot in various parts of India.

T K Ghosh, a resident of Siliguri, termed the price rise as a failure of the government, asserting that the erratic policies of the government led to the price rise.

"Onions which were exported earlier or the onions which are being produced in India, the government being the role player of governance, they should have taken care of the production scenario as well as the demand scenario before hand instead of taking action on corrective measures they should have taken the action on the preventive measures," Ghosh told reporters on Saturday.

"This is what the failure of the government, I believe. In future government should be careful about not only onion but about all other products which are of daily needs of the common man," he added.

The scenario in Jaipur, the Pink City of Rajasthan, has been no different.

Dayanand, General Secretary, Vegetable Traders Association, Jaipur, said that it will take two-three weeks for situation to become normal, as the fresh crop is ready to be harvested.

"Regarding prices, the stock which has been exported, due to the shortage, the prices are affected. Government earlier exported the onions at higher prices, but is now importing onions at higher prices," said Dayanand.

"But import will not make any difference because our crops are ready and they will come within a weak or 10 days time. Whatever statement government is making that within two-three weeks situation will be normal, so one has to bear till that time period," he added.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday asserted that the Central Government is taking all necessary steps to check the price rise of essential commodities, and added that measures, both on supply and demand side, are being taken and imports of essential food items on short supply with zero duty are being allowed to improve the situation.

Mukherjee, however, said India can't insulate itself from the price rise effect as many global factors like hike in crude oil prices, especially those of diesel are affecting it.

Expressing deep concern over rising food prices, Mukherjee told reporters here: "Letters have been written to all the chief ministers to act according to the essential commodities act and prevent hoarding of essential commodities."

"The poor people are being given food commodities on subsidised rates," he added.

Earlier on Friday, amid pressure over rising food prices, Mukherjee asked State Chief Ministers to crack down on hoarders to ensure smooth supply of essential items from farm gate to retail customers.

In a letter, Mukherjee urged them to ensure that all bottlenecks in the supply chain are removed at the earliest.

Irregular rains and export of the vegetable are the reasons that onions in the wholesale market were being sold in the range of Rs 250 for five kilograms before reaching retailers, who would sell it at about Rs 80-100 per kilogram.

The price of onions shot up to Rs 80 per kilogram in New Delhi last month, while at other places it had skyrocketed to as much as Rs 100.

Earlier, onions were being sold between Rs 30 and 45 per kilogram in retail markets. (ANI)

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