Govt Prohibits Export of All Varieties of Onions as Short Supply, Soaring Prices Make Consumers Weep
Heavy rains in Madhya Pradesh and southern parts of India have been cited as the reasons for short supply and subsequent rise in prices of onions.
Image for representation only. (Photo courtesy: Reuters)
New Delhi: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Sunday prohibited the export of all varieties of onions, after prices of the kitchen staple continued to soar throughout the country. Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday said that the government would limit the stock if prices continued to remain high.
The government had earlier said that it would "wait and watch" for a change in the price of onions before limiting supply.
Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar had earlier also assured that onion prices would dip over a few days as supply is being improved by domestic market agencies like Nafed.
In New Delhi, onions were priced between Rs 60 and 80 per kilogram. To provide relief to customers, Nafed and the National Cooperative Consumers' Federation (NCCF) were selling from the buffer stock at Rs 22-23 per kg, and Mother Dairy's Safal stores were selling at Rs 23.90 per kg.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also announced that onion would be sold at Rs 23.90 in the national capital from Saturday at 400 ration shops and 70 mobile vans.
The Delhi government is set to procure one lakh kilograms of onions from the Centre.
The Centre has taken several measures to arrest the prices of onion in Delhi and other parts of the country. The state governments have also been asked to boost the supply by lifting central buffer stock. Some states like Delhi, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh have shown interest so far.
Meanwhile Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand on Thursday assured that prices would fall when fresh kharif crops hit the markets in mid-November.
To meet demands, onions are also being imported from Afghanistan and Egypt, and the stock will likely arrive by October 15.
The surge in prices also drove several to desperation, reports of theft of the crop revealed. A farmer in Maharashtra's Nashik complained that his stock of the kitchen staple worth at least Rs 1 lakh was stolen.
Heavy rains in Madhya Pradesh and southern parts of India have been cited as the reasons for short supply and subsequent rise in prices of onions. However, prices are anticipated to drop once kharif crops are supplied to markets in November.
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