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PM steps in as price of onion skyrockets
Published on 22 Dec. 2010 12:44 AM IST
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With onion prices spiralling to Rs. 70-80 a kg, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday demanded immediate action to deal with the crisis, but Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar warned it would take two-three weeks for the prices to fall. Official sources said the Prime Minister’s Office had written to the departments of agriculture and consumer affairs asking them to monitor the price levels daily and take steps to bring down the prices.
The “prime minister desires that all necessary steps to deal with extraordinary price rise and to bring the prices down to affordable levels are expeditiously taken”, the letter said. As truckloads of onions began arriving from Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah land border, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee termed the price rise as “unfortunate” and blamed the situation on a demand-supply gap.
Also Tuesday, a day after Commerce Minister Anand Sharma blamed hoarders, the NAFED announced it was taking steps to control the situation. In Delhi, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit got into the act, saying wholesale markets would be raided to unearth hoarded stocks.
BJP attributed the rising prices to the “wrong economic policies and bad governance” while the CPI said the government was “helpless against market forces”.

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