Not a family of onion-eaters says Nirmala Sitharaman amid price rise debate in Lok Sabha
As the country battles a steep onion price rise that has brought tears to many, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is taking measures to bring down the prices. She also noted that she comes from a family that doesn't consume much onion and garlic.
While replying to a question posed by NCP MP Supriya Sule in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Sitharaman said, "I don't eat much of onion and garlic. I come from such a family which doesn't have much to do with onion."
Sitharaman made the comment on her eating habits during a debate in the House on onion price rise across the country. Supriya Sule had raised the issue of NPAs and onion farmers.
"Why has the production of onion gone down? We export rice and milk and so many other products. Onion grower is a small farmer and he really needs to be protected", Sule had said.
After making a brief admission about not consuming much of onion, Sitharaman elaborated on government's policy for the benefit of onion farmers.
Sitharaman on Wednesday said in the Lok Sabha that the government has taken several steps to check rising prices of onion and has initiated steps to improve technology for better storage of the kitchen staple.
"From 2014, I have been part of some group of ministers which monitors the up's and down in onion market. Sometimes when there is a surplus of the crop, we have also facilitated by giving support to those people who want to import. I have overnight passed orders for helping with 5 to 7 per cent assistance for exporting", she said.
Sitharaman, who was replying to the debate on the first batch of supplementary demands for grants for 2019-20 also said that onion price surge was due to factors such as a reduction in the area of cultivation and production.
Prices of onion in many places have crossed Rs 100 per kg because of less production.