Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said that she doesn’t eat much of onion or garlic and hails from a family where these two vegetables are not much in use.
The minister was responding to the questions raised by opposition members regarding the hike in onion prices.”I don’t eat much of onion-garlic. I come from such a family which doesn’t have much to do with onion”, she said.Prior to it, Lok Sabha MP 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 the government’s policy for the benefit of onion farmers.
“From 2014, I have been part of some group of ministers which monitors the ups and downs in the 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 percent 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.