Onion prices fall, tomatoes a worry | business | Hindustan Times
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Onion prices fall, tomatoes a worry

business Updated: Dec 23, 2010 23:38 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

With the government taking decisive steps over the past two days, retail onion prices finally began falling on Thursday, even as the price of tomatoes rose alarmingly.

Tomatoes are currently selling at Rs 40 per kg (best variety) against the usual cost of around Rs 15 per kg at this time of the year.

This prompted the government to consider a temporary suspension of tomato exports, just as it had banned onion exports on Tuesday.

"We'll write to the Centre seeking a ban on tomato export if the situation doesn't improve in the next two days," said Delhi development minister Raj Kumar Chauhan.

Onion prices in the Capital dipped on Thursday immediately after the Delhi government started selling the staple vegetable at Rs 40 per kg bypassing the private traders and using Mother Dairy shops, NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited) and National Consumer Cooperative Federation outlets.

The government also imposed a limit of two kg of onions on every buyer to prevent further hoarding.

At private outlets in markets across the Capital, the price for the best variety of onions fell to around Rs 60 per kg against Rs 70 on Wednesday.

"By Friday, onions will be available at every one of these publicly owned or cooperative outlets. We are hopeful that retail rates in the open market will also drop further," said Jayashree Raghuraman, secretary in the Delhi government's food and supplies department.

However, the government has no plan at present to sell other vegetables the way it is selling onions.

Private traders claimed onion prices had fallen because of better supply on Thursday.