The hotel industry, which is struggling to come out of the effects of the Covid-19 induced lockdown, sees the price of onion that has gone through the roof as a double whammy.
In a big relief for consumers, prices of onion have started falling in retail markets across the state after arrival of new crops from Andhra Pradesh.
During the day, the maximum price per quintal was 4,100, the minimum price was Rs 1,151 while the average was Rs 3,200 against Rs 3,651 on November 5.
The onion traders had gone on a strike last week against the restrictions imposed by the Centre on stock limits of 25 metric tonnes for wholesalers.
Sources said on Friday 78 trucks came from Afghanistan and 45 a day earlier carrying about 40 metric tonnes (20,000 to 40,000 kg per truck).
Government data has revealed that in the last five years, only 34% of the sanctioned cold chain projects were completed while nearly 24% projects were cancelled.
The Union Agriculture Minister was talking to reporters on Wednesday after taking part in a rally in Dharampuri town of Indore district ahead of the November 3 bypolls in MP.
Kerala has also approached Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra for direct procurement of tomato, onion and potato from farmers.
India has in recent years built up a buffer stock of onions, but it doesn’t seem large enough to tide over such temporary crises.
After deregulation of commodities such as cereals, pulses, oil seeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes, the states have lost power to impose stock limits on these items when price levels are triggered.
Onion prices had hit the roof across the country after the excess rain damaged the crop and produce in central India, especially in Maharashtra
He said the Nashik price of onion is in the range of Rs 62-64 a kg which is sold at Rs 70 a kg in the Aiginia wholesale market.
Prices of onions and shallots have touched Rs 90 and Rs 120, respectively, in major markets across the state over the past week
"There is no price control on vegetables. Many retail shops have hiked the prices steeply," said Bharati, a housewife.
It is for the administration to keep a watch on the market so that the traders do not exploit the customers, he added.