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Onion Follows Dal Off the Table as Prices Go Up

NDTV logo NDTV 17-11-2015 Written by Saurabh Gupta

Just weeks ago, the price of pulses shot through the roof and now, the humble onion seems to be following suit.

The price of onions have gone up from Rs 25 a kg in September to Rs 60. The spurt has hit middle class households worse, as onions and dal is the staple in most homes.

Onion traders say a weak monsoon has ensured a poor harvest, which could be one of the reasons for the price hike. But even the prices of milk and wheat have gone up over the last one month, but it is the onion which is stinging the most now.

"In our joint family we need 20 kg onion and 10kg dal every month," Mumbai resident Jayshree Dhayalkar told NDTV. "But due to rising prices we have cut down consumption."

It is not just households that have been affected. Restaurants, too, are finding it difficult to ensure profits as dal is something that 90% of their customers order and that's not coming cheap. And the high price of onions, that are a necessary accompaniment, is not helping.

35-year-old Sagar Gaonkar who runs a popular eatery outside Mumbai's KEM Hospital said his only option is to pass the burden to the aam aadmi. "Running this restaurant will be difficult if prices don't come down soon...  I don't think the government has done much to bring down the prices of these items," he told NDTV.

Rising for the third straight month, retail inflation has climbed to 5 per cent in October, as against 4.62 per cent in the same month a year ago due to costlier pulses and other food items.

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