Centre offers buffer stock onion to states/UTs to check prices: Consumer Affairs Secy
New Delhi: In a bid to cool down retail onion prices that are ruling over Rs 75 per kg in some places, the centre has stepped up efforts and asked states and union territories to take the kitchen staple from the central buffer stock for retail intervention.
As per data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, retail onion prices in Mumbai were ruling at Rs 86/kg, Chennai at Rs 83/kg, Kolkata at Rs 70/kg and Delhi at Rs 55/kg on October 22.
“We have stepped up efforts to check the price rise. We have requested state governments and union territories to take onion from our buffer stock for retail intervention,” Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan told PTI.
Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Haryana, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have shown interest and taking a total of 8,000 tonnes of onion from the buffer, she said, adding that the ministry is awaiting response from other states.
The centre is offering onion from the buffer stock stored at Nashik, Maharasthra, at the procured rate of Rs 26-28 per kg to states who wish to lift the stock on their own. For others who want it to be delivered, the offered price would be Rs 30 per kg, she added.
Besides this, the secretary said that cooperative Nafed, which is procuring and maintaining the onion buffer stock on behalf of the government, is offloading the stock in wholesale mandis across the country.
To check prices in Delhi, Nafed is also offering onion from the buffer stock for retail sale via Kendriya Bandhar and Mother Dairy’s Safal outlets in the national capital, she said.
The government has so far offloaded 30,000 tonnes of onion from the buffer stock of 1,00,000 tonnes created from the purchase of 2019-20 rabi crop.
The kharif onions are likely to start arriving soon in mandis and the government hopes that an estimated kharif crop of 37 lakh tonnes is likely to boost supply and soften prices.
Meanwhile, the government is considering import of onion and has relaxed fumigation and phytosanitary norms till December 15 and activated Indian consulates to facilitate shipment.
On September 14, the government had announced a ban on onion export to ensure availability to domestic consumers at reasonable rates during the lean season before the kharif onion arrival.
Govt imposes stock limit on onion traders to check prices
New Delhi: To contain onion prices, the Centre on Friday imposed stock holding limit on retail and wholesale traders till December 31 to improve the domestic availability of the commodity and provide relief to consumers.
Retailers can stock onion only up to 2 tonne, whereas wholesale traders are allowed to keep up to 25 tonne, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said in a press conference.
She said the government had to invoke the Essential Commodities (Amendment) law — which was passed last month in Parliament — that allows it to regulate perishable commodities in the extraordinary price rise situation.
Later, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted: “To control rising onion prices and curb hoarding, PM @NarendraModi government has taken the third step. Imposed stock limit of 2 tonne on retailers and 25 tonne on wholesalers”.
Onion prices have shot up sharply to over Rs 75 per kg in the last few weeks in the wake of damage to standing Kharif crop in producing areas due to heavy rainfall.