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Court must call Pawar on onion tears

This refers to the news report, "No respite in sight from onion tears" (October 24). Sharad Pawar has expressed his inability to manage the rising onion prices. It is strange that the person at the helm of the Agriculture Ministry has uttered such words. This proves either his inefficiency or his participation in the hoarding and black-marketing of the crop.

Be it onion or sugarcane, both crops are contributed largely by Maharashtra and Pawar is the king of that state. Managing middle men, lifting crop in excess and plugging supply are minor tasks for him.

The courts must take cognisance of this exorbitant price rise and summon Pawar in the court of law to answer this question. Till the time crop diplomacy exists, this practice will continue. It is time for farmers of other states to adopt cultivation of onion crop.

Deepjot Singh Thukral, Ambala Cantt


Onion prices are touching the sky not because of weather, but the policies of the government. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has implicitly testified this fact when he asked the state governments to take firm action against hoarders as we have enough onion stock in the country. Hoarding has led to an artificial scarcity and a sharp escalation in the prices. The government has proved ineffective on all fronts, including holding the price line.

Tall claims of the government importing onions to improve supplies and curbing exports are meaningless as the hoarders, in connivance with government, have already amassed crores by selling the product on the black market.

The testimony of this fact is that the crackdown on hoarders is never prompt. Today, it is in the case of onion, tomorrow it may be sugar and the day after some other commodity.

There is a nexus of politicians, hoarders and bureaucrats and it is ruling the roost. If the government intends to bring the prices down, it should dismantle the onion cartel and simplify import rules.

S.K. Khosla Chandigarh


Inflation has gone beyond control. Onion prices are ranging between Rs 80 and Rs 100 a kg; the prices of other essential commodities have also increased steeply, to the extent that the common man cannot afford these items any longer.

The ballooning inflation reflects the defective economic policies of the government. From the factory owner to the retailer, those involved in the chain of selling of a product are responsible for the rise in prices.

The other reason is that demand has exceeded supply. And the government levies multiple taxes and high rates of taxation, especially service tax and VAT, on a single commodity. The tax component influences the retail price. Hoarders and black-marketeers are also responsible for the shortage. The other factors are fake currency and corruption. The Essential Commodities Act needs to be enforced to hold the price line. If the inflation rate is not curbed, the Congress might lose the Lok Sabha election. The price of onions has often spelt the difference between electoral victory and defeat.

Mahesh Kapasi, via email


It is painful to buy onions at Rs 100 a kg. Rising prices of onions, vegetables and other essential commodities on the eve of elections, especially when the General Election is round the corner, is a regular feature. Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's statement that that the prices of onions will continue to be high for another two or three weeks only gives the hoarders a chance to sell it on the black market. This is a secret method of collecting "election funds" from the traders who are, in turn, compensated by selling onions at will.

This practice goes on regardless of the sufferings of the common man. In view of the Supreme Court's recent verdicts on convicted MPs and MLAs, the people must exercise their vote in a responsible manner so that the corrupt, criminal and unscrupulous people are kept away from entering the state assemblies and Parliament. Only then will the prices stabilise and be within the reach of every man on the street.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Village school

Apropos the news item, "Let down by government, village to run its primary school" (October 20), bouquets to the woman Sarpanch of the Phoolpur village panchayat. Her tender and motherly heart felt the hardship of the tiny students who were suffering by walking 2 km to go to their new school. And brickbats to the department which closed the six-decade-old school under the polished name of 'merger'.

A dedicated retired teacher of a nearby village or a fresh graduate can be appointed as teacher on a suitable pay to run this primary school. There is no dearth of philanthropic NRIs willing to spend money for the spread of education amongst children at the primary level.

Shyam Sunder Airi, Kapurthala

LPG with Aadhaar costlier

Apropos news item consumers paying Rs 28 more for the LPG cylinder, lack of proper instructions to LPG distributors has led to unreasonable billing of the gas cylinder. Oil companies are reimbursing subsidy at different rates for the same type of cylinder. I recently received a cylinder billed from Ekta Gas Agency, Deol Nagar, Jalandhar, for Rs 1,021.07 plus Rs 44.93, totalling Rs 1,066. The delivery man demanded Rs 1,070 from me and the IOC reimbursed Rs 435. Thus, a cylinder cost me Rs 635 compared to cylinder earlier available for Rs 411.08 plus Rs 18.12, totalling Rs 430. I was surprised but I paid Rs 205 extra for the cylinder as there is no way out.

I appeal to the authorities concerned to wake up to the open looting of the public by gas agencies via inflated bills.




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