In a bid to keep prices of essential commodities under control, the Centre has decided to enable the states and Union territories to take action against dealers in onions who engage in speculative trading, hoarding and profiteering.
According to a statement released on Tuesday, the central government notified on August 25 its decision to impose stock limits on onions and undertake various other measures in this regard.
This was necessitated by the abnormal rise in onion prices over the past few weeks, though the production and supply of onions in the market was better than in 2016 during the same period, the statement said.
On examination of all circumstances, the government inferred that there were reasons other than shortage of onions, contributing to its abnormal price rise -- such as hoarding, speculation, etc.
"Therefore the states/UTs were required to be enabled to take action against those traders who are engaged in speculative trading, hoarding and profiteering in onions," the statement said.
The measures were expected to bring the prices down to a reasonable level and provide immediate relief to consumers, the statement added.
As per all India average retail price, onion prices have increased from Rs 15/kg to Rs 28.94/kg.
In the metros, the rise has been steeper, touching Rs 31/kg in Chennai, Rs 38/kg in Delhi, Rs 40/kg in Kolkata and Rs 33/kg in Mumbai.
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