PM did not ask for report on rise in onion prices: Pawar

Saturday, December 25, 2010

NEW DELHI - Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Saturday refuted reports that the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has sought an explanation from his ministry on the extraordinary rise in onion prices.

Pawar said that the unseasonal rains were the main cause behind such an extraordinary rise in onion prices.

It was reported on Friday that Dr. Singh had asked Pawar as to what were the measures being taken to control the prices of onion by the Agriculture Ministry.

Dr. Singh also announced a relief package on Friday for Maharashtra farmers, who lost their crops during unseasonal rains this month.

Earlier on December 21, Pawar said that prices of onions are likely to fall only after three weeks.

“Situation will be normal in two to three weeks. Onion prices rose because of rains in Nasik and other onion growing areas. Ban on onion exports should help reduce the prices,” said Pawar.

Following the crackdown by the government and imposition of restrictions on export, the retail and wholesale prices of onion started cooling in various markets across the country.

The prices of onion dropped to Rs. 50-60 a kg in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata on Friday from Thursday’s level of Rs. 60-70 a kg.

Onion prices had doubled to Rs. 70-85 a kg in major cities across the country earlier this week due to damage of crops in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka because of rains as well as hoarding. (ANI)

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