Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered a crackdown on hoarders and black marketers to curb the sudden spurt in onion and tomato retail prices in the state. The state government has found that the retail prices of these commodities were significantly higher than their actual market prices which smacked of the involvement of unscrupulous middle elements. Chairing a review meeting over the vegetable retail prices prevailing in the state mandis here last night, Yogi expressed concern over-inflated retail prices of onion and tomato, while directing officials for taking stern action to rein in prices. He directed district magistrates to ensure hoarders and black marketers were not able to operate and stock vegetables to induce artificial hike in the vegetable market prices. Besides, the CM asked the concerned department to be vigilant about the price movements in essential vegetables and possible hoarding. At the same time, Yogi Adityanath requested the union agriculture and food ministry to ensure an adequate supply of onions to UP, in case the Centre resorted to importing the commodity to supplement domestic supplies. In the review meeting, it was found that the average wholesale price of tomato in November was between Rs 2,500-3,000 per quintal (100 kg), while the retail price was Rs 40-50 per kg. Similarly, the wholesale price of onion was Rs 2,600-2,800 per quintal, while it was being sold at upwards of Rs 35 per kg.
Prices of other vegetables, however, were found to be normal.The CM was apprised by officials the new harvest of tomato would reach the state mandis by November end and thus lead to the normalisation of prices. With regards to the onion, the Kharif season onion is imported in the state from Maharashtra and Gujarat and any shortfall in arrival quantities led to jacked up retail prices.