The Economic Times

What's up with the onion prices?

Agencies|
The tear jerker onion!
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The tear jerker onion!

Pinching hard on consumers' pockets, retail onion prices have surpassed the Rs 200 per kg mark in most cities across the country and in some places it is ruling at Rs 140/kg, as per the official data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

PTI
Why is onion expensive?
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Why is onion expensive?

India has an annual onion requirement of 150 lakh metric tonnes, with Karnataka chipping in with onion production of 20.19 lakh metric tonnes. Almost 50 per cent of the onion production gets lost after factoring in crop loss and post-harvest loss, leaving only the balance to arrive in the market. Heavy rains during the harvest also led to the rotting of a good share of the onion production. In November, Karnataka markets received 60-70 quintals of onion a day, which fell by 50 per cent in December, leading to the crisis. Aiming to increase the availability of onion, the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) has issued a circular that onion trade should happen even on holiday

PTI
What is govt doing about it?
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What is govt doing about it?

To boost supply and contain price rise, the government has contracted over 21,000 tonnes of imports through state-run MMTC and the shipments are expected to arrive mid-January. The tender and fumigation norms have also been ease to facilitate early arrival of imported onions. Among other measures, the government has already banned export of onion, imposed stock limits on traders and is also supplying buffer stock at a cheaper rate. Traders and experts are of the view that onion prices will continue to remain firm till January when new late kharif crop will start hitting the market.

PTI
Meanwhile, the politics!
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Meanwhile, the politics!

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that she doesn't eat much of onion or garlic and hails from a family where these two vegetables are not much in use. "I don't eat much of onion-garlic. I come from such a family which doesn't have much to do with onion", she said while speaking on onion price issue.

Post that, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram who attended Parliament after his release on bail after 106 days in jail took a jibe at Sitharaman for her remark and wondered whether she ate avocado instead. "The Finance Minister said that she doesn't eat onions, so what does she eat? Does she eat avocado?" Chidambaram, quipped.

Taking a jibe at the common man's plight in the country due to surge in onion prices, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said that stop consuming onions as it is not necessary. "Stop eating onions, what is the compulsion to eat it? Our Jain brothers do not eat them. Stop eating onions, stop eating garlic, stop eating meat, everything will be saved," Khan said.

BCCL
Restaurateurs finding onion replacement
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Restaurateurs finding onion replacement

Surge in onion prices in Goa has made it challenging for the city restaurateur to include it as part of their servings and many have completely removed the vegetable from the dishes being served at their outlet. Even as part of the salad, many have replaced onion with cabbage and carrot. Goa Rural Development Minister Michael Lobo said that tourism woes are arising due to rising onion prices "When tourists ask for onions while eating lunch, they are given cabbage instead."

ThinkStock Photos
Stealing onions!
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Stealing onions!

Amid the rising price of onions in the country, an unidentified person in Puducherry stole a couple of 100 kg bags of onions from a wholesale shop on Saturday. According to the owner of the shop, Velmurugan, the person had arrived on a motorcycle and stole the bags of onions, when they were being loaded off the cargo truck.

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