Onion prices to soar still; Govt to import key kitchen staple to meet demand
The retail prices of onions touched Rs 100 per kg in several parts of the country including Delhi. The prices are expected to soar higher to Rs 120 per kg within a couple of days. In Chennai, onions were being sold at Rs 90 per kg, while in Madhya Pradesh the rates were Rs 80 and in Mumbai and Odisha, it was Rs 70 per kg.
The rise in price is due to the shortage triggered by unseasonal rainfall that ruined the crops grown primarily in Maharashtra. Crops spread over 54 lakh hectares were damaged in the past few months.
Onion Exporters’ Association President Ajit Shah expressing his opinion said, “If the government insists on importing from the original source of the commodity, here Egypt, it will take many weeks to receive shipments. However, importing Egypt origin onion from Dubai is possible in just 10 days.”
Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister R P Swain is hopeful of the rates coming down within a couple of weeks. He said, “The rates will come down once the local production begins in mid-November.”
The inter-ministerial committee, headed by Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash K Srivastava, met on Tuesday and decided to loosen up fumigation norms and import onions from Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran to boost domestic supply.