Delhi government intensifies action against onion hoarding

New Delhi: Expressing concern on the rising retail prices of onion, the Delhi government on Wednesday directed intensification of action for preventing hoarding activities in the national capital.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain directed his department to intensify inspections in the ‘mandis’ and keep close watch in the early hours for taking necessary action against the unscrupulous dealers, if found involved in hoarding or black marketing activities, an official statement said.

“Four enforcement teams of the department are making daily inspections of major mandis for taking effective action against hoarding activities.

“However, the teams have not reported any single instance of hoarding till date,” it said.

The Minister stated that in case the need arises, the government could consider putting stock limits on storage of onion by wholesalers, retailers etc.

While the Centre’s data showed average prices of onion and tomato in Delhi ranged between Rs 53 and Rs 63 per kg, these were being sold for up to Rs 80 in retail markets.

On October 31, Union Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had blamed hoarding for a surge in the prices of onions and tomatoes in retail markets, and promised that the situation will improve once the fresh supply began.

Hussain that the Central government has been requested to provide financial assistance under Price Stabilization Fund so that the Delhi government could consider providing onion at affordable prices through Public Distribution System outlets, in addition to onion being provided through SAFAL outlets.

He also said that considering the high renting costs of storage space in Delhi, possibilities of hoarding activities here, but this could be occurring in neighbouring states for which the Central government should convene a meeting with them.