A cloth seller in Maharashtra’s Thane district smelled a business opportunity in the sky-rocketing prices of onions and offered a kilogram of the kitchen staple free on purchase of items worth Rs 1,000. Onion prices have crossed the Rs 100 per kilogram mark in almost all markets in the country for the past several weeks, making it one of the major points of acrimony in the country’s political discourse.
Sheetal Handlooms, a shop in Ulhasnagar here, saw a spike in business on Saturday after its owner announced the “onion free with saree” offer, one of the staff said. “Onions are selling at Rs 130 per kilogram here. So for cloth purchase of Rs 1,000, we are offering a kilogram of onions free. The number of customers has seen a huge rise today,” he said. As per a reply given by Union Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs Raosaheb Danve in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, the average onion prices across major cities have jumped five fold in the last one year to Rs 101.35 per kg.
This, he informed in his written reply, was due to an estimated decline in domestic production in Kharif and late-Kharif seasons (summer-sown) by as much as 22 per cent. Onion prices have risen by 81 per cent in the last one month, with the all-India daily average retail price being Rs 101.35 per kg on December 10 as against Rs 55.95 per kg a month ago and Rs 19.69 per kg a year ago, Danve told the RS.