New Delhi: The government is washing its hands off rising onion prices with union ministers not sounding too sympathetic. After Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said rising onion prices were good for farmers, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has said the prices have nothing to do with the government.
"Why don't you ask the traders this? The government is not the one selling onions," is what Kapil Sibal said when he was asked if onion prices will rise further.
"There is a lot of talk about the rise in onion prices. However, when prices fall no one shows any concern for the farmers. When farmers are getting more money for their produce we should not complain," Pawar had said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Food Minister KV Thomas had said that state governments must check hoarding. "The state governments will have to take action against hoarders and speculators. The government has already controlled exports," Food Minister KV Thomas told CNN-IBN.
He also said that onion prices are will stabilise by the end of September. "The production of new crops is already coming to the market from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. By the end of this month prices will stabilise," Thomas said.
This came as onion prices soared again following an acute shortage in supply. Onion prices are a whopping Rs 70 to 80 per kg in the national capital. In Kashmir too, onions are priced at Rs 80 per kg.
Onion prices in the retail market in Navi Mumbai stand at Rs 70 per kg. In Bhopal, onions cost Rs 65 per kg and in Patna Rs 50 per kg.
Reports suggest that a hike in fuel prices and rain in Maharashtra in the last few weeks have hit supply and led to a spike in prices. Reports also suggest that hoarding is pushing onion prices up.