New Delhi: The Union government on Tuesday in an effort to bring down the rising prices has decided that it will import onions. The tenders for the import will be floated through NAFED.
Sources say that the modal prices of onion has gone up from 4400 per quintal to a whooping 5500 per quintal in Delhi in just a span of a day. The onion modal prices are highest in Delhi. Food Ministry sources have called such a spike 'very unusual'.
This even as Union Food and Civil Supplies minister KV Thomas said that the government was doing everything possible to bring the price of Onion down. "We are talking to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and also Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. I am hearing that Maharashtra onion has not come to the market due to rains. Farmers are hoarding it expecting a much better price. We are checking with state governments", Thomas who is under fire for not being able to apply the brake to soaring price said.
Thomas assured that the government will take action, if the prices go beyond a certain level. "Let us try to solve it by talking instead of penal actions," he said. He also said that he will be talking to all stake holders in a day.
Meanwhile, the government is also mulling banning onion exports to contain prices, which have risen back to the Rs 80-90 per kg level in the national capital owing to supply crunch.
Not only in Delhi, consumers in other parts of the country are affected by rise in onion prices. In major cities, onion is being sold at Rs 60-80 per kg in retail markets.
The domestic availability of onion has been affected on account of damage to kharif crop because of unseasonal rains in key producing states including Maharashtra. "Onion prices have gone up sharply. We are considering banning exports as there is not much scope to raise minimum export price (MEP)," a senior government official said.