Kolkata, Nov 2: Onion prices touched Rs 100 a kilogram in a number of retail markets in Kolkata on Thursday.
While the minimum price of onions in the retail markets in Kolkata is Rs 80 a kilogram, in certain markets located in the posh localities it is being sold at Rs 100 a kilogram.
The members of the West Bengal government task force, created to keep the prices of essential commodities in retail markets in check, apprehend that the prices might increase during the forthcoming festival season of Kali Puja, Diwali and Bhai Phota (Bhai Dooj), following which the prices might ease.
The task force members have started taking precautionary measures to control the prices. Accompanied by the police, they have started visiting different retail markets, asking the sellers to maintain the price of onions within a reasonable range.
They opine that a combination of internal and external factors is resulting in the skyrocketing price of onions.
“The production of onions in West Bengal is limited and we have to depend in a major way for supply from Nasik in Maharashtra. The first problem is that the onion suppliers there are on strike. The Union government through cooperative societies is purchasing the onions directly from the farmers. But there the Union government is discriminating. While it is selling onions at Rs 30 a kilogram in Delhi, it is selling them at Rs 50 a kilogram in West Bengal,” said a member of the task force.
However, he admitted that even after such discrimination there is no reason for such high prices of onion in the retail markets and it is because some middlemen and hoarders are artificially jacking up the price. “That is why we have started visiting the different retail markets from Thursday,” the member said. (IANS)