Retail onion prices were ruling high at Rs 165/kg in Panaji (Goa), Rs 160/kg in Mayabunder (Andaman) and Rs 150/kg in Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Thrissure and Wayanad in Kerala on Friday.
Onion was sold at Rs 140/kg in Kolkata, Chennai and some places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Rs 130/kg in Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack (Odisha), Rs 120/kg in Gurgoan (Haryana) and Meerut (Uttar Pradesh), and Rs 100/kg in most cities tracked by the ministry.
"There is no doubt onion prices are rising. The main reason for rise in price was damage to the onion crop due to rains. Much of onion has been damaged in Maharasthra, the key growing state. However, the government has supplied buffer stock and asked MMTC to import onions and it should arrive by January 20," Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Danve Raosaheb Dadarao said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
The government has approved import of up to 1.2 lakh tonnes of onions to check the ongoing price rise. State-owned MMTC has been directed to import up to 1 lakh tonne onions through global and country-specific import tenders, he said.
Onion are highly perishable commodity that is prone to weight and moisture loss, quality deterioration, sprouting, losses in grading and separation, he added.
On Thursday, a group of ministers head by Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed onion price situation and progress made in import of onions.
To boost supply and contain price rise, the government has contracted over 21,000 tonnes of imports through MMTC and the shipments are expected to arrive mid-January. The tender and fumigation norms have also been ease to facilitate early arrival of imported onions.
Among other measures, the government has already banned export of onion, imposed stock limits on traders and is also supplying buffer stock at a cheaper rate.
Traders and experts are of the view that onion prices will continue to remain firm till January when late kharif crop will start hitting the market.
The country had last imported 1,987 tonnes of onion way back in 2015-16 when price has shot up significantly.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.