The central government has stepped up its efforts to bring down retail prices of onion, that have risen Rs 75-100/kg in some cities, by offering its buffer stock to states and union territories 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 22 October.
"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 was quoted saying in a PTI report.
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.
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 15 December and activated Indian consulates to facilitate shipment.
With inputs from PTI