NEW DELHI || Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday reviewed the prices & availability of onions across the nation. During the meetings, several steps taken by the Government to curb price rise along with reasons for the increase in prices were discussed.
It was informed that due to the delay in the arrival of monsoon the sowing was delayed which had a cascading effect on arrival in the mandi’s. Also, untimely rains and the two cyclones had an impact on the overall production and also hindered the transportation of onions especially from Maharashtra.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Paswan said that the Union Government is taking all possible steps to curb price rise including creating a buffer stock of 56,700 tons of Onions out of which 1525 tons are available with NAFED at present, banning export of onions so as to retain stock for domestic consumption and putting stock holding limit of 10 MT for retailers and 50 MT for wholesalers to ensure a constant and healthy supply in the market.
Enumerating the reasons for the spurt in prices Paswan said that all steps were taken but there is a 30-40% reduction in production on Onions and the supply has been disrupted due to rains. The arrival in Delhi Mandi is up to 25% lesser than those in the same months of previous years.
Talking about the key decisions taken to further augment supplies, Paswan said that the Union Government will act as a facilitator for import of Onion. Phytosanitary and fumigation requirement have been suitably liberalised by the Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate imports up to 30th November 2019 subject to certain conditions.
This will facilitate immediate import of Onions without compromising with the safety and quality. Along with that Indian missions in Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey and Iran are being requested to facilitate the supply of Onions to India. Commerce Ministry has also been asked to see the feasibility of banning the export of dehydrated Onions which can then be used for domestic consumption.