Amid a raging debate over an upswing in onion prices, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha that she belongs to a family “that has little to do with onions”.
In the Lower House on Wednesday, Sitharaman was responding to NCP leader Supriya Sule’s questions on the low production and soaring price of onions when an MP interrupted and asked the finance minister “Aap pyaaz khaate hain (Do you eat onions)?”.
#WATCH: FM Sitharaman says “Main itna lehsun, pyaaz nahi khati hoon ji. Main aise pariwar se aati hoon jaha onion, pyaaz se matlab nahi rakhte” when an MP intervenes&asks her ‘Aap pyaaz khaate hain?’ while she was answering NCP’s Supriya Sule’s ques on production&price of onions. pic.twitter.com/i6OG7GN775
— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2019
To this, the minister replied, “Main itna lehsun, pyaaz nahi khati hoon ji. Main aise pariwar se aati hoon jaha onion, pyaaz se matlab nahi rakhte (I do not eat onions and garlic much. I come from a family where we have little to do with onions).”
The Finance Minister also said that the government has taken several steps to check rising prices of onion and improve technology for better storage of the kitchen staple.
Prices of onion in many places have crossed Rs 100 per kg because of less production.
“I must say, from 2014, I have also been part of some of the group of ministers, which monitored the ups and downs in onion markets. Sometimes when there was surplus of crop we have also facilitated by giving support to those people who want to export it. I have overnight past orders for helping with 5-7 per cent assistance for exporting,” she said.
Attributing shortage to low production, the minister said there are severe structural problems related to onions.
“One is we don’t have scientifically advanced methods of storing…So that is one of the things, so we need to have greater scientific storage facility for onions we have started working on it…then also to give better storage capacities within that region particularly around Lasalgaon,” she said.