After the central government imposed a stock holding limit on retail and wholesale traders, the district administration has begun to start a price check in onion prices in Bhopal. In November last year, onion prices had soared up to Rs 100 per kilogram, when it was attributed reason that supplies to the city’s wholesale market from nearby villages and adjoining areas have slowed down, putting stress on green vegetables. The rise in transportation costs of vegetables from nearby areas has also contributed to the rise in prices.
However, this made district administration sit up and take notice. It then set up kiosks to sell onions at a subsidized rate of Rs 50 per kilogram. Currently, the wholesale price of onion is Rs 50 per kilogram but in retail, it goes up to Rs 70 per kilogram. As per wholesalers, it said that rains have damaged crops while supply from Nashik (Maharashtra) has not begun. As a result, prices may increase more than Rs 70 per kilogram in retail. Massive export of onions is one of the reasons for short supply. The supply in the domestic market reduced from September, leading to artificial price escalation, traders say.
District food and civil supplies officer Jyoti Shah said the department will take action to control price. “We have activated teams to access stock in the district. Accordingly, we will chalk out our strategy to contain prices,” Shah added. The central government decided to impose a stock holding limit on retail and wholesale onion traders till December 31 to contain prices. The move is to improve the domestic availability of onion and provide relief to consumers. The retail traders can stock onions up to 2 tonnes, while wholesale traders are allowed to keep up to 25 tonnes.