Retail onion prices started to rise by September-end and touched a high of Rs 170 per kg in December. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
After smart salutes and impeccable Republic Day Parade on Rajpath, Ashok Chakra winner Chhering Mutup will have a special task before flying back home to Leh. The army hero will be shopping for a very important thing for his home. Its not some souvenir from one Delhi’s famous markets as many would think. Its something that is key to a good recipe – onions! Yes, this Republic Day, Naib Subedar Mutup (retd) will be shopping for huge stock of onions to take back home, a Hindustan Times report said. According to the report, Mutup is part of the veterans’ contingent that will be marching on Rajpath this Sunday.
Six Ashok Chakra winners including Mutup and three living awardees of the Param Vir Chakra will take part in the Republic Day parade. “I plan to take seven or eight kgs of onions with me when I fly back on January 31,” Mutup was quoted by saying by HT. he also said that he would have taken more stock had it not been for the weight restrictions. According to the army veteran, onions are selling in Leh at steep Rs 200 a kg. The army hero was awarded Ashok Chakra in 1985, the HT report said.
The prices of onions sky-rocketed in last couple of months after unseasonal rains destroyed nearly 30 per cent of the crops across India. The constant high retail prices of the onions and other important vegetables have also impacted the food inflation. The recent data released by the Narendra Modi government on the wholesale price index painted a grim picture. The WPI inflation rose to 2.59 per cent in December from 0.58 per cent in November, the official data said. Among food articles, vegetable prices surged by 69.69 per cent mainly on account of onion, which witnessed 455.83 per cent jump in prices, followed by potato at 44.97 per cent.
Retail onion prices started to rise by September-end and touched a high of Rs 170 per kg in December, forcing the Union government to import onions from countries like Turkey and Egypt. In subsequent weeks, rates started to soften with the arrival of new Kharif crop in the market. However, a PTI report said that several states have rejected the foreign stock. Many have complained that the onions from Turkey and Egypt are not pungent enough.
"So far, we have contracted (import of) 36,000 tonnes of onion. Of which, 18,500 tonnes of shipment has reached India, but states have taken only 2,000 tonne that too after much persuasion. We are worried about its disposal because it is a perishable commodity," Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan was quoted as saying.