Onions are literally making people shed tears as prices of the vegetable soared into three figures in many parts of the country.

The kitchen stape in many Indian households see a sharp spike in onion prices in the past 10 days by Rs 11.56/kg has taken the all-India retail price of the commodity to Rs 51.95/kg, which was 12.13 per cent higher than the last year's price of Rs 46.33/kg.

In Chennai and Hyderabad, the rates soared past Rs 130/kg.

Retailers say they are helpless. Some claimed that onions have been in short supply over the last one week and that has reflected in the increased price. Considering the current supply situation, the retailers expect a further price hike.

Following the spiralling price of onions, the government on Wednesday relaxed import norms till December 15 to facilitate the early shipment of onion to boost the domestic supply and check the retail prices. 

The Union Consumer Affairs Ministry, in a statement, said it will also offload more onion from its buffer stock in the open market to contain price rise.

The statement added that an estimated Kharif crop of 37 lakh tonne is likely to start arriving in the Mandis that will give reprieve to the rising prices.

An estimated Kharif crop of 37 lakh tonne is likely to start arriving in the Mandis that will give reprieve to the rising prices, it added.

In September, the government said it had taken a pre-emptive measure by announcing a ban on onion export to ensure availability to the domestic consumers at reasonable rates during the lean season before the Kharif onion arrival.

The government also cited weather conditions as a reason for the shortfall.

The government said that while the rate at which retail prices increased had been "moderated to some extent", recent incidents of heavy rainfall in onion growing districts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh had "caused damage to standing Kharif crop, stored onion and seed nurseries.

"These developments on the weather front have resulted in sharp increase in onion prices," it added.