The central government has come into action amid the rising prices of onions and the politics taking place on it. The central government has asked states to take strict action against onion hoarders, prepare buffer stock and distribute imported edible bulbs (raw onion) at an affordable price. The decision was taken in a meeting of the Chief Secretaries of the states headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gaba.
This meeting was called to consider the situation of high prices of onions. Significantly, in many cities of the country, onions are being sold from 75 to 100 rupees per kg. Addressing the chief secretaries of onion-producing 11 major states with video conferencing, Gaba instructed to take this step. The chief secretaries told Gaba what steps they are taking in their state to curb onion prices.
The Chief Secretaries of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana participated in this video conference.
The statement issued after this meeting said, “The Cabinet Secretary has instructed the states to increase the entire availability of onions in view of the temporary shortage so that prices can be curbed.”
Significantly, the central government has banned the export of onions and has decided to import 1.2 lakh tonnes of onions. Onion storage limit has been fixed.
“The states have been instructed to maintain adequate buffer stock of onions, set limits on onion storage with traders and ensure strict action against hoarding,” the statement said.
Gaba said that to deal with the situation, the central government has approved import of 11,000 tonnes of onions, which will be supplied by the last week of December. In addition, 6,090 tonnes of imports have been approved from Egypt, which is expected to be supplied in the second week of December.
The statement said, “The Cabinet Secretary has instructed the states to use their food and civil supplies department to buy onions at an affordable price.”
Secretaries of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Food and Supplies also attended this meeting. According to sources, the state trading company MMTC has placed an order to import 11,000 tonnes of edible bulbs from Turkey.