The sale of non-vegetarian foods has tumbled more than 40 percent in Bihar owing to the skyrocketing price of onion – one of the major ingredients said to be adding taste to the food. Many shopkeepers were found beating their heads at the unexpected turn of the situation with the usual customers ignoring these shops which once remained flooded with customers at this free time when all restrictions over non-veg foods are now over after the end of two holy Hindu months of Ashwin and Kartik.
“There are just a few takers for our chickens even though we have offered a rebate. Previously, I would sell around 250 to 300 kg a day but now I hardly sell around 100 kg even though the wedding season is in progress,” said Mohammad Azhar who sells chickens in Shastrinagar locality. He said mutton too is attracting less number of customers these. However, the fish sale has increased as it requires less or no onion.
“The sky-touching price of onion has destroyed our business at this time. What’s strange, the price of onion is increasing almost every day. Till this weekend, the onion was available at Rs 60 to Rs 70 a kg but today its price has gone beyond Rs 100,” he wondered. Not only onion, even the price of another important vegetable, garlic, too has gone through the roof while tomato is already available at a premium.
“Our chicken sale has slumped by around 30-40 percent. Earlier we didn’t have the time to take rest,” said Munna, another chicken seller. The situation is such that many hotels and eateries are using cabbages to make up for onion while trying to use onion in little quantity. “Do you think the common men already facing the bitter consequences of the downturn and lessening job opportunities are ready to offer more for our foods? We are compelled to use a small quantity of onions in cooking non-veg foods,” informed a hotelier.
Onion is currently being sold at Rs 100 to Rs 120 in Patna while its price has touched as high as Rs 150 in metro cities like Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Even in small cities, it is available at a relatively high rate much to the annoyance of common men.
“We fail to understand the connection between the onion and the BJP? Whenever the BJP government has come to power, the prices of many of the essential commodities, such as onion, garlic, potato, or mustard oil has increased,” wondered a local resident Rajiv Kumar Singh.
He also expressed surprise over the way why the onion is being sold at more than Rs 100 a kg at this time while politician Pappu Yadav sells it to the local residents at barely Rs 35 a kg!
Likewise, Bihar’s apex marketing society too was selling onion at the same rate but was forced to stop its sale under pressure from the local administration which apprehended this could lead to law and order problems. “It is very shocking that instead of initiating steps to manage surging crowds of onion buyers, the administration rather prevented the sale of onion,” Singh rued.