As onion sells for Rs 80/kg in the Delhi retail market, Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Wednesday said the price rise is due to the decline in domestic production this season, and the government is making all efforts to make up for the shortfall.
“To get more onions in the market, we are importing onions from Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. We have requested the foreign ministry and the agriculture ministry to talk to these countries and allow private companies to import onions,” Paswan tweeted.
Onion prices have been rising in Delhi and other cities as the crop has been hit by the late arrival of monsoon, unseasonal rain, and floods in states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. To review the situation, Paswan Wednesday held a meeting with top officials of the food and the consumer affairs departments.
“We have reviewed the onion availability and price situation. Prices have gone up as production (kharif onion) has declined by 30-40 per cent in the country,” Paswan said after the meeting.
Asked when the prices will cool down, Paswan was quoted by PTI as saying, “I am not an astrologer, but it should hopefully come down by end of November or the beginning of December.”
Paswan also appealed to consumers and the media to offer suggestions to control the price rise.
प्याज की जमाखोरी पर कड़ी नजर रखी जा रही है। बहुत जल्द बाजार में नये और आयातित प्याज की आपूर्ति बड़ी तादाद में शुरू हो जाएगी, जिससे कीमतें तेजी से नीचे आएंगी। मीडिया और आमलोग भी, कीमतों को कैसे कम किया जाए, इसपर अपने सुझाव सोशल मीडिया या Consumer App के जरिए हमें दे सकते हैं।4/4 pic.twitter.com/Qkgd6PHBPB
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) November 6, 2019
Highlighting the measures the government has taken, Paswan said the export of raw and processed onions has been banned, stock holding limits have been imposed on traders and buffer stock is being offloaded at a cheaper rate of Rs 24.90/kg.
In the onion-growing state of Maharashtra this week, on Monday, the average traded price of the bulb at Lasalgoan’s wholesale market was Rs 5,551 per quintal, the highest this year.
In Delhi, the shortfall of onion is being mitigated from the central buffer stock handled by co-operative Nafed. The buffer stock has been given to Mother Dairy for retailing at a cheaper rate of Rs 24.90/kg through its 400-odd Safal outlets to provide relief to consumers, reported PTI.
However, some of the Safal outlets are running out of stock and consumers are returning disappointed. “I waited for two hours in the queue to buy onions from Safal but when my turn came, the stock was over,” said Mumtaz, who works as a househelp and was waiting outside the Safal outlet at Jangpura Extension.
In some localities, customers of a particular colony are requesting Safal owners not to sell the commodity to outsiders.
(with PTI inputs)