New Delhi: With retail onion prices remaining high, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today sought Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar`s "urgent" intervention to curtail export of the basic vegetable.
In a letter to Pawar, Dikshit said curtailing export of onion would help in bringing down the price of the vegetable which is selling between Rs 30-35 per kg in the city.
At a meeting to review the price situation, the Chief Minister directed Food and Civil Supplies department to keep a close watch on the market trends and take strict action against hoarders.
The meeting was attended by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Harun Yusuf and senior officials of the department.
Prices of onion have almost doubled as it was selling between Rs 15-20 in the city couple of weeks back.
"The Chief Minister instructed the department to take all possible measures to bring down the prices of onion," officials said.
They said the price of the vegetable is likely to come down in the next couple of weeks when supply from states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal improves.
Pawar had yesterday termed the rise in onion rates as "temporary phenomenon" and said supply would improve in the coming days.
Wholesale prices of onion at Lasalgaon in Nashik, Asia`s largest onion market, have increased by more than five folds to Rs 20.50 per kg today from Rs 3.55 per kg in the year-ago period, according to government data. A similar increase is seen in the retail prices across the country.
Onion rates have hardened as its production in Maharashtra fell significantly due to drought. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat are the top three onion growing states in the country which suffered drought.
As per the official data, retail prices of onion have increased to Rs 28 per kg now from Rs 13 a kg last year in most parts of the country.
Officials said the Azadpur wholesale fruit and vegetable market received 150 truckloads of onion in the last couple of days and there was no shortage in supply.
The Azadpur Mandi is considered one of the the largest fruit and vegetable wholesale markets in Asia.