High retail price of onions continues to pinch pockets

Even when wholesale prices for onions have dropped to less than Rs 20 per kg, its retail prices continue to be almost double in several colonies across Delhi on Thursday.
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Updated on Jan 27, 2011 11:20 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByNivedita Khandekar, New Delhi

Even when wholesale prices for onions have dropped to less than Rs 20 per kg, its retail prices continue to be almost double in several colonies across Delhi on Thursday.

With improvement in arrivals of onions, the wholesale prices at Azadpur Mandi have seen a steady decline. Delhi received a good 1,600-1,700 tonnes of onions of Thursday while the wholesale rates ranged between R4 and R17 (best quality) per kg.

Tomato and Onion Merchants Association (TOMA) general secretary Rajendra Sharma explained, "We have started receiving regular supply from all four feeder states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The supplies have been steady and the situation is improving."

But retail rates varied between R35 and R40 per kg in various colonies in Delhi. At a few places where the rates were as low as R28 to R30 per kg, people complained about the quality. However, consumers are likely to benefit from Friday, as Mother Dairy's Safal outlets will be selling onions at much lesser prices. The Food and Supplies department of the Delhi government called a meeting with all the stakeholders on Thursday.

"Mother Dairy has agreed to sell two varieties of onions at R20 and R24 per kg from Friday," said Jayashree Raghuraman, food commissioner.

Sharma further assured that the prices are likely to fall to almost R20 per kg in retail by next week. "The supply is increasing steadily and the wholesale rates will go down fast. This is bound to reflect in retail markets."

That should give something to cheer about for the common man who has been reeling under exorbitant price rise for something as basic yet as essential like onions since mid-December.

After unseasonal rains destroyed crops from the feeder states, resulting in supply shortage, onion prices had hit the roof in the national capital and also at almost every major town and city across the country to R80 per kg.

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