It’s not the capital of India but the capital of Mizoram, Aizwal which has registered the maximum rise in onion prices during the last one month of the current year. During the period August 3 to September 3, onion prices have registered a massive increase of 167 percent in Aizwal.
A Zee Research Group (ZRG) study of 41 cities for which the latest data is available with the ministry of consumer affairs reveals that in Aizwal, onions are being sold at a maximum rate of Rs 80 per kg, followed by Hyderabad (Rs 69 per kg).
During the period under review, in Aizwal, the retail price for one kg has zoomed from the levels of Rs 30 to Rs 80 registering a whopping increase of 167 percent. Similarly, in Hyderabad, onion prices have jumped from Rs 31 to Rs 69 (123 percent).
On the contrary, there are many cities where onion prices have not risen above Rs 45 per kg. The list includes cities like Kota, Dimapur, Ahmedabad, Gwalior, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Jaipur, Ranchi, Patna, Rajkot, Nagpur and Jabalpur.
While onions are most expensive in Aizwal, it is available at a cheap price in the retail market of Kota (Rajasthan). In Kota, onions are being sold at Rs 30 per kg. But, the irony is that in the same state onions are being sold at a higher price. For instance, in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, onions are being sold at Rs 45 per kg.
Interestingly, during the period under review, Delhi has been gripped by ‘onion war’ but prices here have increased only by 45 percent. In Delhi, the price for one kg onion has jumped from Rs 38 to Rs 55. The increase registered in Delhi is below the average increase posted by the other cities of the country.
Cities like Kota (Rajasthan), Dimapur (Nagaland) and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Ernakulam (Kerala) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) have registered minimum increase in onion prices. While prices in Kota hovered around Rs 30 per kg, in Dimapur prices have increased from Rs 35 to Rs 40 registering an increase of 14.29 percent. In Thiruvanthapuram, Ernakulam and Ahmedabad prices have increased from Rs 48 to Rs 55 (14.5 percent), Rs 49 to Rs. 60 (22.45 percent) and Rs 32 to Rs 40 (25 percent) respectively.
During elections, the specter of rise in onion prices haunts political parties. People of all classes consume the vegetable in considerable quantity, and any rise in price tends to be politically sensitive. For instance, rise in onion prices has played a decisive factor in the 1998 state elections of Delhi and Rajasthan. Moreover, rising onion prices in 1980 also helped Indira Gandhi to topple the Janata government.