The prices of onion - a key Indian kitchen staple - has soared to a record high accross the country, burning a big hole in common man's pocket. At some regions of the country, onions were being sold at Rs 70-80 per kg, which makes it costlier than the seasonal Apple. According to the consumer affairs ministry, the retail prices of onion has risen to Rs 57/kg in Delhi, Rs 56/kg in Mumbai, Rs 48/kg in Kolkata and Rs 34/kg in Chennai last week.
However, this has now gone up to Rs 80 per kg, making onions unaffordable for many. However, the prices are likely to come down a bit to give partial relief as a major stock of onions will be arriving in Amritsar from Afghanistan soon. According to reports, the government is importing onions from Afghanistan and Egypt to fill in the short supply.
"The stock will arrive via Pakistan in Amritsar in the next few days. Egypt will also supply onions to India and the stock is likely to arrive by October 15," News 18 quoted Kanwarpal Singh Dua, General Secretary of the market association, as saying.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced to supply onions at the rate of Rs 24 per kg. Kejriwal said: "We are procuring onions and we will try to supply it at Rs 24 through mobile vans. Tenders have been floated for this."
Why are the prices of onions soaring?
According to news agency PTI, citing sources, the reasons behind the rise in the prices of onions is supply disruption and production is not an issue. Although this seems a short-term supply disruption, the government may impose strict stock holding limits on onion traders, the sources said.
Main onion producing regions especially Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, eastern Rajasthan and western Madhya Pradesh have received excess monsoon rainfalls over the last two-three days. There is enough supply of stored onions but the kitchen staple's transportation has been hit because of heavy rains. Currently, stored onions are being sold across the country, the traders said, adding The fresh crop of onions will hit the market from November.