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Govt releases buffer stock as teary consumers bear high onion prices

New Delhi, Oct 17:  With rising onion bringing tears to the eyes of consumers, the Government on Sunday said it has started to release stocks from the buffer to keep the retail rates under check.

It said that till October 12, it has released 67,3567 metric tonnes of onion in major markets where the prices ruled above the national average. These markets are Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kochi and Raipur.

According to a statement issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs, onion prices in Delhi on October 14 stood at Rs 44/kg. Prices in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai were Rs 45 kg, Rs 57 kg and Rs 42 kg respectively.

The All India retail prices of onion on October 14 was Rs 37.06 per kg while the All India wholesale price of Onion is Rs 3002.25 per quintal.

The statement said onion has been offered to the states at Rs 21/kg. “This would enable States/UTs to take up, by themselves, market interventions either through direct supply to retail consumers through retail outlets or release in key markets to bring down prices”. 

High retail prices of key vegetables such as onion and tomato has forced households across the country to rework on their daily budget, dampening the activities usually witnessed in the kitchens during the festive season. Prices of onion, for example in Delhi, ruled in the region of Rs 50-52 per kg and that of tomato at Rs 55-60 per kg since the beginning of this month.

Now, tomato prices are ranging between Rs 50 and Rs 55 per kg, while it earlier used to be at around Rs 40 per kg. Similarly, onion prices have also been hiked and now, it is around Rs 50 per kg which used to be sold earlier at around Rs 35-40 per kg,” a vegetable trader in Lakshmi Nagar Ramesh Sahu told news agency PTI.

The rising prices are being blamed on heavy rainfall in major onion producing states such as Maharashtra and high fuel prices.

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