Onion tears into home budgets in Punjab, sparks protests

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Aug 25, 2015 13:33 IST
A Mahila Congress worker during a protest over soaring onion prices in Amritsar on Monday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Over the past month, retail prices of onion have shot up almost three times from Rs 30 a kg in the last week of July to Rs 8085 per kg on Monday in Punjab and Haryana. Wholesale prices of onions has also trebled over the same period across the state, sparking protests.

Experts claim that the main reason for the sudden price increased has been the disruption in supply from Maharashtra, a state that is the highest supplier of onions in the country. Un-seasonal rain in past few days has spoiled the new crop of onion leading to a shortage. During a visit to a wholesale mandi on the Sanaur road on Monday, the HT team found people buying the stock in limited quantity due to the high price.

Suman Sharma, a housewife, said, “Such rapid increase in the rate of onion is shocking. This increase has hit our budget and affected our lives. As onion is very essential ingredient in vegetable so we can’t ignore it while buying the other vegetables. The government has to step in.”


A teacher Rupinderjeet Kaur said, “In my residential area, the vendor is selling onion for Rs 80 per kg. I decided to buy the vegetable from the wholesale market and find that there is not much of a price difference. The government should keep a vigil at hoarding to rein in the prices. We cannot be taken for granted.”

Even retailers are not happy. Vinay Sharma, a retailer, said, “It has become very difficult to sell onions as customers are upset and buying smaller quantities. We don’t want to sell onions at the high rates, but we have to sell it based on our cost.”

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