India and the Onion

India is passing from an interesting phase, you can hear these famous words on everybody mouth Modi, Raghuram Rajan, Rupee, Inflation andimage not to forget the Onion.

Was just looking on the inflation numbers and realized the food prices are up by 18.2% on the year, and this was led by a mind-blowing 245% annual rise in onion prices.

Sharing some of the crazy things we’ve seen around India in the aftermath of soaring onion prices.

  • Onion Groupon Deals: Groupon India offered onions at Rs. 9 for a kg, in response to surging onion prices, and the offer caused the site to crash. This represented an 85% discount to a market price of Rs. 60 at the time the deal went live. It was the first time Groupon India had a deal on onions. 
  • Onion Bank Deposits: To protest rising onion prices a member of the state legislature from the BJP deposited onions at a local bank, the New York Times reported, citing local media.
  • Onion Snipers: In 1998, a television satirist said he had asked the Bombay police for the protection of sharpshooters because he intended to buy 10 kilos of onions. At the time mobs had looted government vegetable storage buildings and trucks loaded with onions, New Straits Times reported.
  • Onion Heists: Indian police thwarted thieves in the process of taking off with a truck full of onions. The thieves decided to target onions because the price of the vegetable had surged and because of the weakness in the rupee.
  • Onion Government Takedowns: Rising onion prices have led to the downfall of governments. In 1980, onion prices played a large part in bringing down the Janata Party alliance during general elections. In 1998, the BJP lost state elections in Delhi because of soaring onion prices.
  • Onion Weaponization: An onion farmers union in Western India had offered Rs 1,000 (approx. $16) to anyone who could knock out a government minister with an onion, New Straits Times reported.

Of course this is worrisome for India’s new central bank governor, as rising inflation limits his ability to loosen monetary policy and help support economic growth which is at a 10-year low.

Well in the mean time NSEL defaults for the 5th time; pays only Rs 8.57 crore to investors that’s a separate story will do soon.

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