In the wake of a steep rise in the prices of small and big onions Chief Minister Edppadi Palanisamy initiated immediate action to hold back the price of onions. He directed the cooperation and food department to take action to sell onions at cheaper price. To tackle the steep onion price hike, Minister for Food R Kamaraj and Minister for Cooperation Sellur K Raju said the State was mulling procurement of onion and selling it at concessional rates.
A decision will be taken in consultation with the Chief Minister. Presiding over a review meeting convened at the secretariat, the ministers said the government was keenly monitoring the situation and steps were being taken to prevent hoarding as well as to ensure easy availability of onion.
The officials said that supply of onions from Nasik in Maharashtra and certain areas in Karnataka was reduced recently due to heavy rains and so, the prices had gone up. “However, supply from Nasik and Andhra has resumed and the loads are expected to reach Koyambedu soon. So, the price is expected to come down,” the officials added.
A release said the officials had denied reports of onions being sold at higher prices. They said at the Farm Fresh Shops of the Cooperation department, big-size onion was sold at `45 or `46 per kg. Even then people have to buy from open markets which sell the produce for a premium.
Therefore, the government should examine the feasibility of selling onions through farm fresh outlets and ration shops. It requires 70 to 90 days to harvest small onions and in the case of big onions it ranges from 75 to 100 days. The government should encourage the cultivation of onions in the state in places where water for irrigation is easily available. It should also set up cold storage chains across the state to preserve onions.