The price of onions in the city rose by a steep 40% on Monday apparently because of a dip in supplies.
The wholesale price of a kg of the vegetable rose from Rs 42 last week to Rs 60. Wholesalers attributed this rise to an unexpected deficit in onion supply, which would otherwise have been buffered by imports from other countries.
The Delhi government had been selling onions cheap to unburden residents. The intervention mechanism, Delhi government officials said, was stopped after the price stabilised. The wholesalers blamed the government for the sudden rise in onion prices, alleging that it was because of its negligence that prices had risen.
“The government was supposed to import onions from China and Pakistan. The first batch of imports was supposed to have arrived in Delhi last week. Since that hasn’t happened and there was already a shortfall in supply, the price has gone up again and is now touching `60,” said Anil Malhotra, member, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee.
While the retail price of onions touched Rs 75-78 in several parts of north Delhi, in some parts of south Delhi such as Greater Kailash and Moti Bagh, it stood at `80.
According to retailers, most onions sold in the Capital are from Nasik, where production has been low.
“The price has risen over the past two days and is likely to increase further. Supplies of onion have dried up,” said a Safal Dairy retailer.
Government agencies, however, said the price rise was only temporary. They remained non-committal on question of importing onions, but claimed that fresh supplies from Maharashtra would arrive in a fortnight.
“Supplies from South India earlier this month had arrested the rise of onion price. The price rise now should be taken care of once fresh supplies arrive from Nasik,” said Bijender Singh, chairman, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.