New Delhi: Attributing the price rise in onions to demand and supply gap, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday assured relief by the end of November since the crop got destroyed in the rains and floods, stated news agency ANI.

Taking stock of the rising onion prices and onion import issue, Ram Vilas Paswan met Consumer Affairs Secretary AK Srivastava and Food Secretary Ravikant earlier in the day.

The onion price shot up in Chandigarh market on Tuesday. A vendor told news agency ANI on November 5, “Price of onion has increased from Rs 50 per kg to Rs 80 per kg. It was Rs 70 per kg yesterday (November 4), today it has become Rs 80 per kg. There is a supply crunch as rains have destroyed the crop”.

With shortage of supplies and rise in onion price, the Consumer Affairs Ministry had on Tuesday noted that the government will facilitate smooth import of onions. This decision was taken at an inter-ministerial committee meeting on Tuesday.

To revive the supply of onions, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) has been directed to provide the maximum quantity to Delhi government, Mother Dairy and Safal for retailing. To monitor the movement of onion supplies to consuming regions including the Delhi-NCR, special teams have been dispatched to Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

While meetings with traders regarding how to avail supplies in the region were encouraged, the Ministry advised the officials concerned to be wary of traders who benefit from profiteering and speculative pricing.