The Union government has taken several steps to boost onion supply after the prices touched Rs 100 per kilogram in several regions including Delhi. The government has asked MMTC to import onions from Dubai and other countries to boost domestic supplies. The mandatory time for tendering process has been reduced to speed up imports. A tender has already been issued. A team of officials from MMTC, NAFED, agriculture ministry and consumer affairs department will visit Turkey and Egypt to facilitate imports.
The consumer affairs secretary held a top-level meeting on the prices and availability of the kitchen staple and bried the cabinet secretary on action taken so far, says a ministry of consumer affairs note. The government had banned onions exports on September 29 and set stock restrictions on retailers and traders.
The government has also asked NAFED to procure the commodity from Alwar in Rajasthan and supply to states that have demanded 300 tonne of onions per day. The Department of Consumer Affairs has asked state governments in Delhi and Rajasthan and APMCs to keep mandis open between till November 12 to prevent disruption in supplies.
The government has warned of stern action against traders who are trying to manipulate prices. The retail prices are increasing despite a dip in the wholesale prices. After an unabated rise for three weeks in the wholesale markets across onion-producing areas, onion prices have fallen by Rs 1,000 per quintal last week. Average prices at Lasalgaon market, India’s largest wholesale market for onions, was Rs 4,300 per quintal on November 6, compared with Rs 5,501 per quintal on November 4, an Indian Express report said.