The prices of these onions will also be fixed depending upon the demand and consumption at various states.
New Delhi: Sensing rotting of perishable kitchen item at various ports in the country due to no takers for the government-imported onions at the current prices of Rs 58/kg, the Centre is likely to offer it at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 20-23/kg, down over 60-65 per cent from the current offered rate. The prices of these onions will also be fixed depending upon the demand and consumption at various states.
As per a government source, “Despite persistent requests made by the government to lift the imported onions at an affordable price, many states withdrew their orders due to lack of perspective retailers who can sell off in mandis. As there were no prospective takers, MMTC, which had placed orders for import of 40,000 tonnes, finally purchased only 14,000 tonnes, while there are also large quantities of imported onions still lying unsold at various ports.”
“Maharashtra state among all other states also did not show interest to lift the commodity at high rates at a time when retail prices started cooling down on arrival of fresh crop. The retailers also claimed that consumers don’t like the taste of these onions much as compared with homegrown ones,” the source added.
“The government is also luring Nafed, Mother Dairy and other state governments to lift the imported onions at Rs 20-23/kg for distribution in several mandis,” the source said.
The government was forced to import onion in a bid to contain prices, which have cooled down now to around Rs 58-60/kg from the peak of over Rs 160/kg in the last few months.
To check spiralling onion prices, the government had in November 2019 decided to import 1.2 lakh tonnes of onion through state-run MMTC. Since then, MMTC has been able to purchase 14,000 tonnes of onion from the overseas market.