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Centre asks states to take firm action against onion hoarders

The Centre Tuesday said the price spike in onions is due to artificial scarcity and asked the state governments to take firm action against hoarders.



New Delhi: The Centre Tuesday said the price spike in onions is due to artificial scarcity and asked the state governments to take firm action against hoarders.

Onion crisis is continuing since last three months and retail prices have risen back to Rs 80-90/kg in Delhi and other major cities because of severe supply crunch.

"We have enough onion stock in the country. The state governments must act firmly against hoarders who are hoarding onions which has led to the artificial scarcity and sharp escalation of prices," Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here.

Onion prices are expected to stabilise with arrival of kharif crop in the coming days and late kharif crop in December, he said.

Inflation is a matter of "serious concern," Sharma said, adding that it has risen driven up by vegetables like onion and food items. "We hope it is temporary, seasonal and will settle down".

Asked if the government is considering revising the minimum export price (MEP) of onion, Sharma said: "This time due to the situation, we have fixed MEP on onion... When the situation will improve, we will revisit our decision."

India consumes 88 per cent of the total onion production and exports 10 per cent of it, he added. Currently, MEP stands at USD 900 per tonne.

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