New Delhi, Jun 17 Amid continuing surge in prices of various key commodities, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said fresh supplies are coming to the market in next few weeks and rates would come down.
"There is seasonal fluctuation in vegetable prices. At the moment onions have reached rock bottom. Prices have gone down in hundreds of commodities. Supply will come in the next few weeks and the prices will go down, which is for tomatoes and potatoes," Jaitley said in an interview to Times Now.
On the issue of rising prices of pulses, the Minister said this is a "serious challenge". India is one of the largest consumer of pulses and there is a shortfall of around 5 million tonnes, he added.
"In the last two years there has been a global shortage and therefore we are trying to pick up as many pulses in the world and bring them to India. Importing more into India from where ever it is possible," Jaitley said.
As pulses continued to soar to touch up to Rs 200 per kg, government has directed intelligence agencies to crack down on cartels, while futures trade was curbed to check speculation and buffer stock was hiked over 5-times to 8 lakh tonnes to boost supply in a multi-pronged approach.
Efforts were also beefed up to sell larger quantities of pulses at highly-subsidised rates through government agencies and outlets, but any favourable results were hardly visible in the retail and wholesale markets.