Onions have left many teary-eyed as prices of the staple continue to soar across India. The onion prices have shot up to an all-time high in Tamil Nadu's Madurai, where onions have being sold at Rs 200 per kg.
This has caused grief not only to the consumers but also to the traders who have seen a sharp decline in their onion sales and profits. Moorthy, an onion trader told news agency ANI, "Customers who used to buy 5 kg onions are now buying only 1 kg onions." Jaya Subha, an onion buyer told ANI, "I am spending Rs 350-400 per week only on buying onions."
Onion prices have been ruling high for past few weeks due to fall in production of the Kharif crop following unseasonal rainfall in key growing states, including Maharashtra. To boost supply and contain price rise, the government has contracted over 21,000 tonnes of imports through state-run MMTC and the shipments are expected to arrive mid-January. The tender and fumigation norms have also been ease to facilitate early arrival of imported onions.
Among other measures, the government has already banned export of onion, imposed stock limits on traders and is also supplying buffer stock at a cheaper rate. Traders and experts are of the view that onion prices will continue to remain firm till January when new late kharif crop will start hitting the market.
The Union government, on Tuesday, revised stock-holding limit of onion to 25 tonnes for wholesalers and five tonnes for retailers. Importers will be exempted from these stock limits for imported stock. The price of onions has been on the rise in many states of the country, which has even sparked protests among the people.
(Inputs from Agencies)