Government hikes onion minimum export price to $700/tonne to check prices
The government is keeping a close watch on onion prices and has floated a tender for import of 10,000 tonnes of onions, which will be opened on August 27.
The MEP was last increased from US$ 250 per tonne to US$ 425 per tonnes on June 26th.
The Consumer Affairs secretary C Viswanath will head a meeting on August 24 with officials from Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), NAFED, MMTC, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Delhi government to review the action taken to keep the prices of Onions in check.
Further, the tender to import 10,000 tonees of onions will be opened on August 27.
The SFAC and NAFED have procured 5857 tonnes of onions till date. This has been funded out of Price Stabilisation Fund meant to keep prices of essential commodities under control said the government release.
“SFAC has also procured 2511 tonnes of onions for the Delhi government. The farmers consortium is supplying onions at Rs 30.50 per kg to Mother Dairy’s fruit and vegetable store -SAFAL which is retailing at Rs 39 per kg. in Delhi. SFAC is also selling onions to consumers at Rs 35 per kg through 120 milk booths of Delhi Milk scheme,” it said.
A decision was also taken by Delhi government to sell onions at subsidized rate of Rs 40 per kg through 280 fair price shops, which was further reduced to Rs 30 per kg since August 12
As per the Consumer Affairs ministry, prices of onions have been rising on account of a decline in total production from 189.23 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 as against 194.02 lakh tonnes in 2013-14. “The shortfall has primarily been on account of adverse weather conditions including unseasonal rains which has impacted both the standing and harvested crop at the major producing centres,”says the ministry.
In order to contain price rise of essential commodities a National Consultation Meeting was also held with all State/UTs Ministers in-charge of Food and Consumer Affairs on July 7 which resolved to keep prices of essential commodities, especially onions under control. It also recommended effective action against hoarding and black-marketing to control prices of food items. “The chief secretaries of states / UTs are also being reminded regularly to keep a watch on price rise and take Union Government made an amendment of EC Act, 1955 on July 1 to enable State Govt./UTs to impose stock limits on Onions for a further period of one year till July 2y, 2016,”said the government release.