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As onion prices spiral, government says keeping tabs

To prevent hoarding, the practice of holding on stocks to ramp up the prices, the government has imposed limits on how much onion traders can stock. It had also banned onion export in September.

Updated: Nov 28, 2019 01:31 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times New Delhi

The government is making all efforts to get onion stock from Egypt, Turkey and Netherlands (Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday said an inter-ministerial panel led by home minister Amit Shah was monitoring the availability of onions and their price, which has touched Rs 100 again in key metros over the past week.

“The Cabinet secretary and a committee of secretaries are also keeping an eye on the situation and suitable policy interventions are being undertaken based on the deliberations,” he said.

The government is making all efforts to get onion stock from Egypt, Turkey and Netherlands, the minister said.

To prevent hoarding, the practice of holding on stocks to ramp up the prices, the government has imposed limits on how much onion traders can stock. It had also banned onion export in September.



None of the measures has been able to prevent onion price volatility over the past three months, as an estimated third of the crop in Maharashtra, the country’s largest grower, has been damaged by untimely rains.

The Metals and Minerals Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) has informed the inter-ministerial panel that the first shipment of onions from Egypt shall arrive in the second week of December and the second shipment thereafter, Paswan said.

MMTC will work out modalities of transportation of sealed containers of onions from Mumbai port directly to a facility at Rai, Sonipat with speedy curing, customs clearance, etc; he said.

“Until the next crop becomes available during January, prices will remain under pressure because arrivals have been severely impacted,” said Sudin Tarle, an official at Lasalgoan, Asia’s largest onion wholesale market in Maharashtra.

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