Due to severe short supply in the market, the price of onion shot up to Rs 200 per kg in Bengaluru, an official said in Bengaluru on Saturday. "Onion price touched Rs 200 per kg in some retail shops of Bengaluru, after its wholesale rate ranged between Rs 5,500 and Rs 14,000 per quintal," news agency IANS quoted state agricultural marketing officer Siddagangaiah as saying.
Onion prices have been ruling high for past few weeks due to fall in production of the Kharif production due to unseasonal rainfall in the key growing states, including Maharashtra. During a debate on the issue on Thursday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman told the Lok Sabha that she belongs to a family "that has little to do with onions".
"Main itna lehsun, pyaaz nahi khati hoon ji. Main aise pariwar se aati hoon jaha onion, pyaaz se matlab nahi rakhte (I do not eat onions and garlic much. I come from a family where we have little to do with onions)," Sitharaman said in response to a question posed by NCP leader Supriya Sule.
Onion prices in Bengaluru come days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed progress made in the import of key kitchen staple to boost domestic supplies and check spiralling prices. Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba, Advisor to Prime Minister P K Sinha and Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash Srivastava were also present in the meeting, the officials added. The home minister reviewed the progress made in the decisions taken in the last meeting with respect to facilitating speedy import of onion that would help improve availability and cool prices.
The consumer affairs secretary, who made a presentation on the onion price situation in the meeting, informed that state-run MMTC has contracted import of over 21,000 tonnes of onion from Egypt and Turkey and the shipments are expected to arrive by mid-January.
The secretary said that tendering and fumigation norms have been eased to facilitate early arrival of the imported onions. MMTC has been directed to issue two country specifics tenders and one global tender for 5,000 tonnes each, the sources said.