To bring the prices of onion under control, vegetable traders on Tuesday urged the Indian government to persuade its Pakistan counterpart to lift ban on onion export to India through land route.
During a round of the local vegetable markets here, HT team found that even low quality bulb was being sold at price ranging between Rs 60 to 70 per kg. The retailers blame it on the lesser export of the crop from Karnataka.
A housewife, Saroj Bala, who was buying onions, said that steep hike in the prices has over burdened her monthly budget, as there is no alternative for the bulb, which is a must ingredient for food.
“In Delhi, onion is being sold at the rate of Rs 35 per kg in government-owned retail outlets, but in Punjab, no such efforts are made to bring relief to the people”, said another homemaker, Rajni Mehta.
District president of the Wholesale Vegetable Market, Dimpy Sachdeva told HT that the prices are expected to rise more as less than half of the supply is coming as compared to the demand.
“Only import of the bulb from Pakistan could bring the prices under control”, Sachdeva said adding that union government must take up the issue with Pakistan.
At present onion is being sold at the rate of Rs 30 to 35 per kg in the retail market of Lahore and traders of Pakistan could easily export the crop at the rate of Rs 40 per kg to India through land route, he said.
In January 2011, the then Pakistan government had imposed ban on export of onion to India through land route to prevent spiraling hike in bulb prices across the border, he said, adding that in India although prices of tomato is high, but no such type of ban has been imposed on its export.
“Despite soaring prices export to countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar and Bangladesh is still on, which should be immediately terminated to control domestic prices”, he demanded.
One of the whole sellers, Rajinder Nagra said that if immediate steps are not taken to control the vegetable's price, it may shoot up further up to Rs 100 per kg.