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Efforts to Ease Onion Prices Bearing Results, Says Government

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Onion Vendor

According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, onion costs in the country are currently lower than in prior years. The government has released more than half of the market buffer stock of 2.08 lakh tonnes of onion in the market. 

Rains disrupted the supply chain, causing onion prices to rise commencing in the first week of October 2021. "To cool down prices, the Department of Consumer Affairs has taken up calibrated and targeted release of onions from the buffer on the First-in-First-Out (FIFO) principle, guided by the twin objectives of moderating prices and ensuring minimal storage loss," the Department of Consumer Affairs stated in a release. 

"Onion prices are lower than previous year. Buffer stock operations are used to keep onion prices stable. The Ministry's efforts to reduce onion prices are yielding results," it stated. 

"As a consequence of these efforts, the All India retail price of onion on November 3 is Rs.40.42 per kg, while the All India wholesale price of onion is Rs.32.50/kg," it added. 

A total of 1.11 lakh tonnes of onion have been released in major markets including as Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kochi, and Raipur till November 2, 2021.

Furthermore, onions are disposed of in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat local markets. 

In addition to releasing onions into the market, the Department of Consumer Affairs has given onions from the buffer for Rs.21/kg to all States and UTs for lifting from storage locations. This would allow states/UTs to engage in market interventions on their own, either through direct supply to retail customers through retail outlets or by price reductions in crucial markets.  

"The inventories are also available for delivery to Central/State agencies involved in retail marketing at an ex-storage rate of Rs.21/kg or at a landed price after including transportation costs. SAFAL has lifted 400 tonnes and was offered at a landing price of Rs.26/kg. The buffer is supplying Nagaland," said the release. 

The Department of Consumer Affairs has kept an onion buffer under the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) with the goal of intervening in the market to lower prices. 

"In 2021-22, a total of 2.08 lakh tonnes was procured from Rabi-2021 crop between April to July, 2021, against the aim of constructing 2 lakh tonnes of onion buffer stock," the Department reported. 

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