New Delhi: With onion prices rising up to Rs 40 per kg in the national capital, the government has ordered to import 10,000 tonnes of the kitchen staple form countries including Pakistan, China, Egypt.
However, "There is no need to panic as far as onion prices are concerned, sufficient stocks are available in the country," a senior government official said.
Onion prices at Lasalgaon mandi in Nashik, which sets price trend of bulb across the country, have increase by 66 percent to Rs 25 per kg from Rs 15 per kg, since the start of the month.
Whereas, the prices of key kitchen ingredient at wholesale markets in national capital have jumped to Rs 30 per kg from Rs 20 per kg in the last one week.
From last week or so, onion prices have increased by Rs 10 per kg, though there has not been any shortfall in supplies," Azadpur Mandi Onion Traders Association President Surender Budhiraja said.
Whereas, Mother Dairy is selling onions at Rs 38.90 per kg and it is charging Rs 40 per kg for the packed onions.
Nashik-based National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) Director R P Gupta said the country has sufficient stocks of the bulb.
"... At present about 28 lakh tonnes of rabi onion is stored in the country, which is equal to the country's two months demand and at the same time harvesting of early kahrif crop has also started in Andhra Pradesh," Gupta told PTI.
Meanwhile, on behalf of the Centre, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has already floated a tender to import 10,000 tonnes of onion in coming months.
"NAFED invites tender for import of around 10,000 MT onions from Pakistan, China, Egypt or any other origin meeting Indian import regulations. The exact supply order will be regulated in units of 500 MTs depending upon the requirement," the cooperative said in the tender.
Prices of the key vegetable have also gone up in various cities across the country.
According to the official data, onions are being sold at as high as Rs 59 per kg in Thiruvananthapuram, followed by Rs 5 5per kg in Wayanad and Ernakulam.
Besdides, it is being sold at Rs 42 per kg in Delhi, Rs 34 per kg in Kolkata and in Mumbai onions were available at Rs 31 per kg.
The onion price was lowest at Rs 15 per kg in Gwalior.
India'a annual consumption of onion is about 165 lakh tonnes, whereas the production is about 180 lakh tonnes.
Apprehending further increase in onion prices, the government had already increased MEP of the commodity to USD 425 per tonne and and extended by another year the ban on hoarding of the key kitchen staple beyond a prescribed limit.