Imposes stock limits on retail and wholesale onion traders
After the retail prices of onion shot up to Rs 60-70 per kg across the country due to floods in major onion producing States Maharashtra and Karnataka, the Centre on Sunday banned export of onion and imposed stock limits of 100 quintals on the retail traders and 500 quintals on wholesale traders.
The Centre has also asked State Governments to enforce the stock limits and carry out anti-hoarding operations against unscrupulous traders.
In a related development, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on Sunday banned export of all varieties of onion with immediate effect till further orders.
“Export of all varieties of onion is prohibited with immediate effect,” the DGFT said in a notification. The Centre also made it clear that strict action will be taken against those found exporting below minimum export price to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The Government has fixed a minimum export price of US $ 850 per metric tonnes to discourage onion export.
The moves come in the wake of the rising prices of onion that has led to public outcry. Wholesale suppliers of onion claimed that price rise in onion is due to anticipation of shortfall in kharif crops production. Traders suggested that onion prices see a spike during this time of the year because of floods and illegal hoarding of onion ahead of the festive season. Currently onion from cold storage is available in the market.
The retail prices of onion, a key kitchen staple, shot up to Rs 70-80 per kg in Delhi and Mumbai in wake of excess monsoon rains in major growing States like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
In cities like Bengaluru, Pune, Patna and Chennai, onion is being sold for up to Rs 60 per kg. In Kanpur, it is being sold at Rs 70-80 per kg. A similar price trend has prevailed in other parts of the country as well.
The Centre has a buffer stock of 56,000 tonne of onion, of which 16,000 tonne have been offloaded so far. Central agencies like Nafed and the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India have been selling onion from the buffer stock at Rs 22-23 per kg, while Mother Dairy’s Safal stores are selling at Rs 23.90 per kg in the national Capital. Besides, Afganistan is also supplying nion to India via Attari borders.
The wholesale price of onion has touched Rs 4500-5500 per quintal (as per the Lasalgaon’s wholesale market data), recording a hike of about Rs 1,000 per quintal in the recent months. The onion price rise is the highest in the past four years. In the past six months alone, the onion prices have been up by almost Rs 25 per kg, says the Consumer Affair Department’s price monitoring cell data.
Monday, 30 September 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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