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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Soaring prices of onions in markets of Odisha has burned holes in the pockets of consumers.

A steep rise of around 80% in the price of the staple vegetable in the space of just a week has now brought tears of agony to the consumers in the State. As per sources, the bulbs which were selling Rs 50 a kilo a week ago are worth Rs 90 a kilo now.

Traders blame that heavy rains that damaged standing Kharif crops in Nashik and other major onion producing regions of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh is the reason behind the soaring of the rate of in Odisha.

The spike in wholesale prices meanwhile has also led to a rise in retail prices of the vegetable.

“Just three days ago, I used to buy onions Rs 40 to 50 a kilo but now suddenly the price has gone up to Rs 90 a kilo. I am surprised as to how  to maintain the family needs,” said a customer.

Odisha Traders’ Association, General Secretary Sudhakar Panda said that any relief in the price of onions can be expected only after Diwali.

After Deepawali, a fresh harvest of onions come out from Nashik, so we hope that it may stop the situation from worsening.

Notably, the Centre on Wednesday relaxed norms on the import of onions till December 15 in view of the rising price of the vegetable.

On September 14, the govt had banned the export of all varieties of onions in a bid to bridge the demand and supply gap of the vegetable in the domestic market.

Meanwhile, in view of the rising prices of onions in the State, the Odisha government has asked district collectors to keep a close watch on the price and availability of onion in the market and utilize the services of the field functionaries to frequently inspect both wholesale and retail businesses of the vegetable.

In a letter to all the district collectors, the State Food Supplies department has mentioned that even though onion price rise is a national phenomenon, unscrupulous traders may resort to high profiteering and so the authorities need to ensure availability of the bulb at reasonable prices to needy consumers.

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