December 21 — Government banned exports of onion to bring down its prices that had more than doubled in the past week becuase of the shortage caused by heavy rain in growing areas.
The food price inflation is a headache for the coalition government that is also struggling with a slew of corruption allegations.
On Monday, the agriculture ministry banned the onion exports until January 15, and the government is also going to import it from Pakistan. Last week, according to local media, the retail prices of onions jumped to 80 rupees.
Sharad Pawar, Agriculture Minister, told to the media: “The situation will be normal in two to three weeks. Onion prices rose because of rains in Nasik and other onion growing areas.”
He added that the ban on the exports of onion should help in reducing the prices.
After the ban, the onion prices dropped in the wholesale market in Lasalgaon, western Maharashtra, by 34% to 2500 rupees per 100 kg.
Director at the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) R.P. Gupta said, “Restrictions on exports today pulled down prices in the wholesale market. They will fall further in the next few days in the wholesale and retail markets.”
Over the past three months the food price inflation has been retreated, and a 9.5% high is a worry for the Congress party.