Govt undertakes targeted release of onions to keep prices in check
New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The government on Sunday said it is carrying out "calibrated and targeted release" of onion stocks from its buffer for moderating rising prices.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has taken up calibrated and targeted release of onions from the buffer on First-in-First-Out (FIFO) principle commenced from the last week of August 2021, guided by the twin objectives of moderating prices and ensuring minimal storage loss.
"As a result of this continued monitoring and moderating, the retail price of onion in Delhi is Rs 44/kg as on October 14. Similarly, in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, the prices are Rs 45/kg, Rs 57/kg and Rs 42/kg, respectively. The all India retail prices of onion on October 14 was Rs 37.06 per kg while the all India wholesale price of onion was Rs 3,002.25 per quintal," a release from the Department said.
The releases are targeted towards states/UTs where prices ruled above the all-India average and also where prices are on rising over the previous month, it said.
Till October 12, a total of 67,357 million tonnes (MT) have been released in major markets such as Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kochi, and Raipur.
In addition, Grade-B onions, stocks which are below the Fair Average Quality (FAQ), were disposed in local markets in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
Apart from release stocks in the market, the Department has offered onions from the buffer at Rs 21/kg to all the states and UTs for lifting from the storage locations. "This would enable states/UTs to take up, by themselves, market interventions either through direct supply to retail consumers through retail outlets or release in key markets to bring down prices. The stocks are also available for supply to Central/state agencies involved in retail marketing, either at ex-storage rate of Rs 21/kg or at landed price after including transportation costs. SAFAL has been offered at landed price of Rs 26/kg," the release said.
Onion buffer has been maintained by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Price Stabilisation Fund with the objective of effective market intervention to moderate prices. In 2021-22, against the target of building 2 lakh million tonnes onion buffer, a total of 2.08 LMT was procured from Rabi-2021 crop during April to July 2021.
"Similarly, efforts are being made to soften the prices of potato and tomato. The retail price of potato and tomato in Delhi are Rs 20 and Rs 56 kg, respectively. The all India retail price of potato and tomato are Rs 21.22/kg and Rs 41.73/kg, respectively," the release added.