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ONIONS @ Rs.100/-

Onion prices touched Rs 100 per kg in some major cities as supplies remained tight. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar says that rates will remain high for 2-3 weeks. Refusing to ban onion exports, the Centre asked states to invoke Essential Commodities Act to crackdown on hoarders. It, however, started the process of importing onion -- via co-operative NAFED -- from Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and China to cool down the rates. It also relaxed the conditions for imports to augment domestic supply. According to the data compiled by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, the average price in the major 57 cities stood at Rs 70 per kg with Jammu recording highest at Rs 90 per kg and the Bangalore the cheapest at Rs 32 per kg. However, as per the data available from centres, onion is being sold at Rs 100/kg in Patna and Jammu in retail markets. In the national capital, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Bangalore, retail prices are ruling at Rs 80-90 per kg. Onions are available in the range of Rs 60-80 in Mumbai, Bhopal, Lucknow, Chennai, Guwahati, Srinagar, Imphal and Kolkata. "...next two to three weeks will be tough and ultimately we have to find a solution," Pawar said in Bangalore. Asked whether he meant that the prices would come down in the next 2-3 weeks, he said: "No, no. I am not an astrologer. But I know something about crops. On my own assessment, this situation will continue for the next two to three weeks."

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