The Centre is offering onion from the buffer stock stored at Nashik, Maharasthra, at the procured rate of ₹26-28 per kg to States.
In a bid to cool down retail onion prices that are ruling over ₹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 ₹86/kg, Chennai at ₹83/kg, Kolkata at ₹70/kg and Delhi at ₹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 ₹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 ₹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.