Agri Business

Competition panel may probe surge in onion prices again

Bindu D. Menon New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 13, 2013

Rising onion prices may force the Competition Commission of India to re-examine if cartelisation exits in the trade of the bulb.

Two years ago, the fair trade regulator had smelt a scam in the rising prices of onion and probed the matter. However, it could find any hard evidence against the traders and the case was dropped.

Even earlier, prima facie there existed a case and the CCI had taken suo motto action and carried out a probe taking data from the mandis. It was clear that there was hoarding that impacted the price, sources said adding that it may relook the issue.

Onion prices are ruling over Rs 55 a kg in retail markets. Prices have surged four-fold this year.

The rise in prices is despite increased arrivals at major markets in Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Pimpalgaon and Lasalgaon.

In 2011 December, the CCI had mandated Bangalore-based Institute for Social and Economic Change to conduct a study on onion.

The institute looked at competitiveness in major onion markets of Maharashtra and Karnataka and submitted its report to the fair trade regulator

In its finding in a report, the institute had said that traders, along with intermediaries, were playing a role in price hike.

The report had said that to avoid collusion between traders, involvement of Agriculture Produce Market Committee officials in the auctioning process should be mandatory. It also sought the involvement of co-operative marketing societies to prevent collusion amongst traders.


Published on August 13, 2013
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