Pawar chalenges AAP on onion prices

Nashik (Maharashtra), Dec 24 : Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Tuesday virtually challenged the AAP government-in-waiting in Delhi saying he was waiting to see how it will implement its poll promise of controlling spiralling prices of onions.

Inaugurating a new tehsil office building and panchayat samiti office at Nandgaon here Tuesday, Pawar said two governments in the past in Delhi headed by Bharatiya Janata Party's Sushma Swaraj and Congress' Sheila Dixit had bit the dust following rising prices of onions and other essential commodities.

"Now, we have to see the role of the person who has captured the chair in Delhi and see how he sticks to his promise of reducing onion prices by 50 percent," Pawar said, without taking names.

"I find it amusing when I hear such impossible claims made by people without even knowing the market dynamics or understanding the intricacies involved in onion markets," Pawar said.

The Nationalist Congress Party chief lamented that he was castigated when he took the side of onion-growing farmers when prices went down as well as consumers when the prices went up.

Elaborating, Pawar said that when onion farmers were getting good prices for their products, he did not find it necessary to intervene and the farmer community kept mum when he was castigated for the high prices.

Similarly, when prices tumbled in the past couple of weeks, the very same farmers blamed him for not coming to their help, even as consumers were happy.

On consumers, Pawar said they don't mind paying exorbitant prices for luxury bus tickets or mineral water bottles, but react strongly when prices of onions and other commodities go up.

Expressing his ire at the onion traders lobby, Pawar said it was high time the traders started acting responsibly in these matters.

When the minimum export price was reduced, the farmers anticipated an increased demand for onions with good prices, but the traders declined to share the profits.

"You must bear in mind that it is the farmers who toil in the fields all year, while you just come and reap in profits in the season," said Pawar, referring to the traders.

--IANS (Posted on 24-12-2013)

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