The Central government has come into action to stop the price of onions that have reached the sky. The government is rapidly increasing supply through imports. While 2500 tonnes of onions from abroad have reached the port, 3000 tonnes are on the way and will soon reach the retail market. It is expected that this will provide some relief on the prices of onions. Significantly, in many areas of the country, the price of onions has reached Rs 100 a kg.
News agency IANS quoted sources from the Ministry of Agriculture as saying that 2,500 tonnes of it has already reached 80 ports at Indian ports, out of which 70 containers are from Egypt and 10 containers from Netherlands. Another 3,000 tonnes are coming from 100 containers via high sea, which is being brought towards Indian ports.
Onion supply has come down due to irregular rains, which has affected 30 to 40 percent of production this year. Because of this, onion prices have crossed Rs 100 per kg.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs had announced that the government would assist in the import of onions and to make this process smooth and ensure quick supply from other countries.
To achieve this, the Ministry of Agriculture has liberalized the needs of phytosanitary and fumigation. Indian missions in Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey and Iran have been asked to facilitate onion supply to India.
Onion Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said that onion production has decreased by 40 percent compared to last year. He said that the main reason for the reduction in onion production is that the monsoon came a month late this year and the onion crop in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan has been damaged due to rain-flood.
Because of this, onion prices have increased by 200 to 300 percent in the last ten days. According to reports, the wholesale price of onion in the Lasalgaon wholesale market of Maharashtra has gone up to Rs 55.50 per kg. This is at the highest level of 4 four years. Earlier, in the beginning of August, it was priced at Rs 13 per kg.
What steps did the government take
Paswan called a meeting of officials of his ministry regarding the rising onion prices. Paswan said, “Since October, we have given as much onion to all states as needed from buffer stock, but now we have about 1557 MT of onion in our buffer stock. Delhi has just written that there has been some rot in the onion being given by the central government. Keeping onion in stock for a very long time causes it to deteriorate. We have set a stock limit on the onion. Action will be taken against anyone who holds more stock than the limit.
The government had earlier banned the export of onions. Now, exports of onion products have been banned, but considering the prices of onions, the government has decided that traders can import onions from Iran, Turkey and other countries.