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Saturday 25 January 2020

Onion prices going down, says Sitharaman; Tomar blames inflated estimates from States

At a press conference held to inform the press about the measures taken by the government to speed up the economy, Sitharaman said that a group of ministers was reviewing onion prices every one or two days

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that a decline in the onion prices has begun. She said that the price has not come down as much as it should but is definitely decreasing.

At a press conference held to inform the press about the measures taken by the government to speed up the economy, Sitharaman said that a group of ministers was reviewing onion prices every one or two days. She added that the ministers are now also deliberating upon ways to address issues related to imports.

The finance minister said, “Onion is a fast rotting item. In some places, the crop production went down due to rains and floods, due to which the supply decreased. It went below a reasonable level. The government is taking steps to increase imports and is taking measures to get onions to the market as soon as possible.”

According to sources in the consumer ministry, imported onions will start coming to the market after 15 December. The arrival of the new crop from Maharashtra and Gujarat will accelerate.

Apart from this, the Union government’s decision to import 30,000 metric tonnes of onions through MMTC will be implemented on 27 December.

According to a government official, the rise in the prices will stop mid-December. It is expected that prices of the bulb vegetable will come down by December because then the difference between the demand and supply of onion will be negligible.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the Lok Sabha attributed the reason for the increase in prices of onion to the decrease in its production. He said after the price increased, its export was banned and an import was ordered.

Chief ministers of all States have also been asked to take steps to control onion prices. When opposition leaders asked Tomar if he ate onions, the minister said, “I do eat onions.”

Tomar acknowledged that onion was a burning issue in the country these days. “People are suffering. We are aware of this. The yield has been lower than the estimate given by the States on the production of onion.”

A recent article on Sirf News had explained the reason for higher prices of food items including onion, said that it was good for the economy, and predicted that the inflation in this sector would lower with a better rabi crop in the next six months:

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