Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today termed the rise in onion and tomato prices as “seasonal factor”, saying the situation will normalise in a week or so on improved supplies of the fresh crop. In the national capital, retail onion prices are ruling as high as Rs 51 per kg and those of tomato at Rs 80.
At Mother Dairy outlets, onion is being sold at Rs 47 per kg and tomato Rs 70, according to the trade data. However, all India average retail price of onion is Rs 33 and tomato Rs 45, showed the official data.
“The price rise in onion and tomato is a seasonal issue. The rates will come down in a week or so as arrival of the new crop improves,” Paswan told the media after taking unity pledge to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Barring these veggies, prices of other essential commodities like rice and wheat are ruling stable, he added. Stating that the new crop of kharif onion has started arriving in mandis, Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash Srivastav said the fresh crop is being harvested in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
Onion prices are under pressure because of 25 per cent reduction in area covered under the early kharif crop of onion. But the kharif and late kharif crop acreage is better and production is expected to be good, he said. Now, both early kharif and kharif crop of onion is arriving in the mandis while the late kharif crop will begin from January.
The quantity of arrival will gradually improve in coming days, he added. With regard to tomato, a senior consumer affairs ministry official said the prices of tomato have firmed up in the national capital and other parts because of supply disruption owing to rains in Karnataka, one of the leading producers.
Farmers in Karnataka have not been able to harvest and transport the vegetable because of rains. However, the supply and price situation is likely to improve in the next 10-15 days, he added.