Pradeep Singh

The unabated increase in the prices of fuels to LPG, and now onion has brought tears in the eyes of the consumers who are now feeling the pinch. There seems to be no respite for people from the rising prices of essentials with no solution appearing on the distant horizon.  

The price of onion, which was around Rs 25-30 per kilo in early October, is now being sold at Rs 45-50 a kilo. It is sold at Rs 50 in Bolangir, Rs 45-50 in Bhubaneswar, Rs 45 in Berhampur, Rs 40 in Cuttack and Rs 40 in Balasore.

While the rising prices have left consumers seething with anger, people demand immediate steps by the government to put a cap on the trend.

"Anything is possible if the government wants. The government can control the price surge by taking effective action against the hoarders and the black-marketers," said a consumer.

Expressing their helplessness, small traders claimed that they are finding it difficult to sell onions at reasonable prices as they have to buy the veggie at high prices from wholesalers. 

"When we are buying onions at Rs 40-42 a kilo from the wholesalers, at what price can we sell it in retail? People are hesitant to buy and so do we," said a trader.

The Chhatra Bazaar Traders' Association said that the low production of onions in Nasik due to untimely rainfall in Maharashtra has led to the rise in prices. The wholesale price of onions from Nasik and Bangalore (per kilo) are Rs 35-38 and Rs 32-35, respectively.

However, the State traders' association attributed the price rise to hoarding and black-marketing while demanding immediate steps by the government to stop the situation from deteriorating further.

On the other hand, the price of non-subsidised LPG has been increased by Rs 15 per cylinder, hiking the kitchen budget of people. 

“Income of a middle-class family is not increasing but the prices of essential commodities keep on rising. This is getting unbearable for us as we are facing a lot of hardships in managing the family. This government has already made our lives miserable,” said a consumer.