Onions selling at Rs 35 per kilo, Sheila asks Centre to act quickly

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The rising price of onions in Delhi has forced the government to seek Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's intervention and adopt a "tougher" stand against hoarders. In a letter to Pawar on Thursday Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit requested urgent and appropriate action in curtailing onion exports at the earliest.

The retail price of onions in Delhi is Rs 30 to 35 per kg.

The letter to Pawar was dispatched following a meeting chaired by Dikshit. "I have instructed the Food and Civil Supply department to keep a watch on market trends and take strict action against hoarders. We have also requested the Minister of Agriculture to intervene and take urgent action in curtailing onion exports to bring about an improvement in onion rates," Dikshit said.

Officials in the Department of Food and Supplies said the prices are expected to come down after improved stock from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal arrives in two weeks' time.

Dikshit said all possible measures would be taken to provide relief to economically weaker families, for whom the onion is the largest consumable produce.

Officials said the Azadpur wholesale fruit and vegetable market had received at least 150 trucks of onions in the recent past, and there should be no shortage.

"Hoarding of this produce cannot be allowed, I have directed all relevant departments to take strict action against any hoarder of onions in the city," Dikshit said.

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