To control the prices of onions, the central government has decided to import one lakh tonnes of onions. Retail prices in many states still remain at Rs 90 -100 per kg due to unseasonal rains affecting the major onion producing states of Maharashtra as well as other states.
Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the government has decided to import one lakh tonnes of onions to control onion prices. MMTC will make the imported onions available for distribution in the country from November 15 to December 15 and Nafed has been entrusted with the responsibility of distributing the onions to every part of the country.
In a bid to curb onion prices, the Cabinet Secretary held a high level meeting with the Secretary of Consumer Affairs to review the onion crisis in many parts of the country.
According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Consumer Department, as well as officials of important government agencies associated with the Ministry of Food, have been directed to go to Turkey and Egypt and speed up the effort to import onions from there.
Simultaneously, MMTC has been asked to import large quantities of onions from Dubai and elsewhere so that the shortage of onions in the market can be removed quickly.
Advice to keep the mandis of Rajasthan open to ensure onion supply
The governments of Delhi and Rajasthan are also being asked to ensure that all the mandis remain open from November 9 to November 12, so that the onion supply is not interrupted. Unseasonal rains and floods in many states have damaged the onion crop, which is expected to reduce its production. To make up for this, the government has decided to provide facilities for buying onions from four countries – Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Egypt.
India has reached 2,500 tonnes of imported onions.Onion prices in bulk were at Rs 15 to 50 per kg in Kolhapur mandi in the mandis of Maharashtra, the major onion producing state, while it was priced at Rs 20 to 45 per kg at Jodhpur mandi in Rajasthan.
Delhi onion wholesaler Rajendra Sharma said that the daily arrival of new onions from Rajasthan has increased in Delhi, and its daily arrival is expected to increase further, which will bring down the prices.
According to sources, around 2,500 tonnes of imported onions have reached India and 80 are coming to Cantner, out of which 70 containers are coming from Egypt and 10 containers from Netherlands.