Agriculture World

Government Approves Import of 1.2 lakh Tonnes Onion: Nirmala Sitharaman

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

The Cabinet last week gave its approval to the Food Ministry to import around 1.2 lakh tonnes of onions in order to improve the domestic availability of the key kitchen staple and check prices.

After the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed about the decision that was taken. Ram Vilas Paswan told that the government will import 1, 00,000 tonnes of onions through state-run, MMTC which has already floated a tender for buying 4,000 tonnes of the commodity from the global market.

The Centre is also faciliating private imports and relaxed phytosanitary as well as purified norms till next month (December).

The move comes after the government's various efforts to boost the domestic availability failed to cool down the retail prices significantly. Market price of onion is continuing to rise above Rs 60 per kg.

The prices of onion are under pressure due to 26 per cent fall in the production to 52.06 lakh tonnes throughout the kharif season and late-kharif seasons of 2019-20.

The all-India average market price of onion was at Rs 60.38 per kg on 15 November 2019 while last year the price was Rs 22.84 per kg.

Besides easing norms for onion import, the government has taken several measures including ban on exports, stock limits on traders and sale of the commodity stored as buffer, at a subsidised rate.

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