The Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs Avinash Srivastava in a high-level meeting briefed the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba about the current situation of availability and prices of Onions on November 8. Srivastava also informed Gauba of the action taken so far including banning the export of Onions on September 29 and setting stock limits on retailers and traders. Based on long and careful consideration, several key decisions have been taken to further ease the pressure on prices and improve the overall availability of Onions across the nation.
MMTC has been requested to immediately import a substantial amount of onions from Dubai and other countries to augment domestic supplies. Approval has also been granted to reduce the mandatory time for tendering as there is an immediate and prompt requirement domestically, an official release by the Department of Consumer Affairs said. A team comprising of officials from MMTC, NAFED, Department of Agriculture and Department of Consumer Affairs has been instructed to visit Turkey and Egypt on an urgent basis to take stock of the supplies of Onions in these countries and facilitate imports to India.
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) has been directed to speed up its domestic procurement process especially from Alwar in Rajasthan and supply to States that have already indicated their demand. So far a total of 300 tons of Onions per day have been demanded which will be progressively increased as per the increased demands of State Governments. NAFED has also been asked to provide maximum amounts so as to ensure a healthy supply to Onion deficient States. NAFED is being facilitated to procure the same.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has requested the Delhi and Rajasthan Governments and APMCs to keep their Mandis open from November 9-12 so as to prevent any disruption in supplies. They have also been asked to provide appropriate publicity for the same. It was also informed that strict and appropriate action will be taken against such traders in Delhi, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan who are constantly in touch with each other and are trying to manipulate the prices.