New Delhi: The Department of Consumer Affairs is constantly and closely monitoring the availability and prices of Onions across the country. The Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs in a high level meeting briefed the Cabinet Secretary about the current situation of availability and prices of Onions and also apprised him of the action taken so far including banning the export of Onions on 29th September, 2019 and setting stock limits on retailers and traders. Based on the deliberations, the following key decisions have been taken to further ease the pressure on prices and improve 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 alsobeen granted to reduce the mandatory time for tendering as there is an immediate and prompt requirement domestically. A tender for the same has been issued.
- Team comprising of officials from MMTC, NAFED, Department of Agriculture and Department of Consumer Affairs has been directed 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.
- 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 9th till 12th November, 2019 so as to prevent any disruption in supplies. They have also been asked to provide appropriate publicity for the same.
- The Government is constantly in touch with State Governments to ensure that their demands are being catered to. Consultations with State Governments are ongoing through Video Conference (VC) to assess their demands & requirements along with supply position. Based on their demands, NAFED has been asked to procure and supply. Another VC is being held today along with Agriculture/Horticulture Departments of State Governments to further take stock of the situation.
- It was also informed that strict and appropriate action will be taken against such tradersin Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan who are constantly in touch with each other and are trying to manipulate the prices.