The Centre had warned state governments, including Delhi, in June about the possibility of onion prices soaring in coming months and had even offered to make arrangements for the availability of cheap onions, but states ignored this.
In a letter to state governments on June 21, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), the nodal agency of the agriculture ministry for dealing in various horticulture items, had notified them about the issue.
"Department of consumer affairs has drawn the attention of agriculture ministry towards the likely spike in onion prices in the coming months, specially between October and December," NAFED managing director, Sanjeev Chopra wrote.
"NAFED would like to offer its expertise for the procurement of onions which would be at Rs 1550 per quintal," the letter stated.
NAFED had asked details of how many onions the state governments would want to keep in the department's cold storage facility at Nashik.