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Haryana

Households learn to do without pricey onions

December 07, 2019 05:23 AM

COURTESY HT DEC 7

HT Correspondent

htreporters@hindustantimes.com

Gurugram : As onion prices soared and hit an all-time high of ₹120 for a kilogram, consumers are thinking twice before buying the kitchen staple. Vendors across the city are reportedly selling the tuber for anything between ₹90-120 per kg.

“You cannot eliminate onion from your daily cooking, so you have to buy it. But our consumption had to be reduced,” said a shopper at Sector 40 Huda market, who refused to be named.

For retailers, heaps of unsold onions have forced them to reduce purchase from the wholesale market. “I am selling them(onions) for ₹120 today. Three days back it was ₹80. People are buying according to the rate. And I am keeping the stock accordingly. There is no point in keeping unsold stocks,” said Raj Dutt Shukla, owner of a grocery shop at Sector 40.

Similarly, for cart vendors, the inflamed prices have taken a hit at their income. “Onions have become so expensive that I cannot afford to stock up on them. Regularly buying onions when there is no guarantee of them being sold is difficult for me. I cannot afford it” said Gyanji, a mobile cart vegetable vendor, who operates between sectors 30 and 31.

Consumers in the city continue with restricted buying to keep the inflamed prices from taking a toll on their grocery budget. “I just bought them at ₹100 today. Usually, I buy two or three kilograms at a time, but at this price, I am restricting to just one kilogram each time I go shopping. ,” said Shama Dutt, a resident of Edelco Mansionz.

While local grocery stores struggle to sell onions, chain-based stores and app-based retailers are offering discounted onion prices on incentive-based buying. A leading app-based grocery retailer recently offered onions for ₹1 on bills above ₹1,200. Emartz, a chain-based grocery store, sold onions at the discounted price of ₹65 on Thursday. “We sold 280 kg of onions in a single day. People were stocking up because of the reduced prices,” said store executive, Devinder Kumar. Their onions on Friday were priced at ₹90.

Amidst the soaring prices, the state food and supplies department had distributed 50 metric tonnes of onions at ₹31 per kg to BPL cardholders through public distribution shops.

The onions were released by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India in September. No such distributions have taken place since then.

Vinay Yadav, secretary, district agriculture marketing board, said, “We are monitoring free and fair trade. There are 50 wholesale onion traders in the mandi and we are inspecting their storage facilities to prevent onions from being stocked beyond the limit of 250 quintals.”

 
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