The Indian government has decided to substantially increase the daily supply of onions to Delhi to arrest rising prices of the staple kitchen item.
Concerned over the onion prices in wholesale and retail markets in the last one month following a disruption in supply in the wake of floods in some major growing areas, the Department of Consumers Affairs held two meetings in five days reviewing the prices with all stakeholders under the chairmanship of Secretary Consumer Affairs Avinash K Srivastava, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
In the latest held meeting on Friday, the ministry decided to “substantially increase the daily supply of onions from government buffer to Delhi and directed state-owned NAFED to release the stock from the buffer so as to ensure improved availability at reasonable rates,” an official statement said.
The ministry took note of the fact that import of onion is free (under Open General License) and currently there is sufficient stock of onions available in the government buffer and the supply of onions can be further enhanced if the need so arises.
At the previous meeting four days ago, it was indicated by Horticulture Commissioner (DAC&FW) that sown area under the kharif onion crop is higher than last year and its arrival has commenced from Karnataka.
Arrivals of kharif crop is expected to increase significantly within a week and this would improve availability in consuming areas, thereby, helping moderate the onion prices, officials said.
The Department of Consumer Affairs advised state-owned Mother Dairy to roll back the prices of onions by two rupees across all variants. Mother Dairy agreed to reduce these rates from Rs 25.90 to Rs 23.90 for the loose variant and from Rs 27.90 to Rs 25.90 for the packed variant at all its stores in Delhi.
The onion prices jumped steeply in the last one month due to reduction in arrival in agricultural markets across India following floods in major supplying states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
According to data compiled by Nashik-based National Horticultural Research & Development Foundation (NHRDF) showed the onion is currently trading at Rs 22 a kg compared to Rs 12.50 one month ago.
In Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, Asia’s largest onion selling wholesale market, onion prices shot up by 71 per cent to trade at Rs 20.50 a kg on August 20 from a Rs 12 a month ago.