Admitting UPA’s policy blindness to import and export onions at the same time, Union Agriculture Minister on Wednesday said bad brains led to soaring onion prices.
Earlier in the day, Pawar said, “Price of onion will fall in 2-3 weeks. Despite good Monsoon this year, the extensive rainfall has hit the crop which is a reason for soaring prices.”
Onion prices in the retail market are touching near Rs 100 per kg.
“…next two to three weeks will be tough and ultimately we have to find a solution,” Pawar said on onion prices that have reached all-time high levels.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Eighth National Conference on Krishi Vigyan Kendras 2013, Pawar also ruled out the possibility of traders exporting onions to other countries where prices are less than India.
“Nobody is exporting because in other countries price of onions is somewhere near 500 dollars and in India, it is 900 dollars. So in such a situation there is no export,” he said.
He asked the Chief Ministers of all States to invoke the Essential Commodities Act against hoarders.
Pawar said he would inform Food Minister KV Thomas that the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd is ready to import some quantity.
“We have to import as early as possible. I have instructed the Managing Director of NAFED (that) if there is a request from any state we should be ready,” he said.
“Fortunately, there is ample onion (stock) available in China, Egypt and neighbouring countries and have collected figures and prices on Tuesday. The prices in these countries are cheaper compared to India,” Pawar added.
It’s not just onion prices that are leaving the common man in tears. Prices of the essential vegetables including potato have hit record high and hence dampening the spirit of consumer ahead of Diwali.
Potato prices are 40-50 percent costlier than last year.
(With inputs from agencies)