Onions give another reason to cry
Manipal: Onion prices have skyrocketed in the city in tune with the nationwide drift, which has caused a worry among the retail buyers and sellers. The price has increased in the last three weeks, from rupees 52 to rupees 73, per kilogram in the market.
The recent hike in onion prices across Karnataka has caused a business impediment in Manipal. Customers are buying fewer onions, and many small scale retail sellers have reduced taking onion orders from the wholesalers, in and around Udupi. Some of the restaurants have even stopped selling dishes that contain Onions as their main ingredient.
“I don’t want to burden the students by increasing the price of dishes, so I have replaced some items on the menu like Onion Utappam and Pakoda with other dishes. I used to buy 7-8 kilograms of onion per day, but now I end up buying only 3-4 kilograms daily,” said Kishore Kini, owner of Anand Bhavan, a restaurant near School of Communication (SOC), Manipal.
The fluctuations in the marginal rates have also caused instability for the wholesale merchants in this region. “We don’t get orders regularly, and our supply has considerably reduced in the last month. Our regular customers have started ordering lesser quantities of onions due to the price hike,” said Krishna Raj, an Udupi based wholesale worker.
As the permanent dealers tend to increase their share of profit, the price varies from each shop, ranging from rupees 8-10 per kilogram. “We are forced to change the price because of the hike, and the profit taken by the distributers. They don’t have a permanent marginal (cut-off) rate, so we have to cope with their increment,” explained Pradeep, a worker from a supermarket in Manipal. “The recent price hike has also created a loophole for the local distributers to increase their marginal cut-off as per their wish,” he added.
The increase in price has also affected the local residents in the city, causing tension among the customers. “The hike in onion price is worrisome since most of our meals require onions as the main ingredient. Post seeing the price, I bought only 1 kilogram of onion, though I was asked to get 2,” said Shabnam, a homemaker from Udupi.
The price for Onions in Manipal is comparatively higher, than Mangalore and other nearby towns. Retail sellers in Mangalore sell onions for rupees 60-65 per kilogram, whereas in Manipal and Udupi the price increases up to Rs 70-72. The price for onions is expected to fall down by next week.
Edited by Gargi Kerkar