NEW DELHI: In order to bring down onion prices that are ruling over Rs 75 per kg in some places, the government on Friday decided to invoke stock limit norms on traders for the kitchen staple.
Prices of onions continued to shoot up across states. As per data maintained by the consumer affairs ministry, retail onion prices in Mumbai were ruling at Rs 86/kg, Chennai at Rs 83/kg, Kolkata at Rs 70/kg and Delhi at Rs 55/kg on October 22.
The revised stock limit norms come into effect from today and will be valid till December 31. For retail, the stock limit has been fixed at 2 tonnes (20 quintal) and 25 tonnes (250 quintal) for wholesale stock.
According to the government, the current harvest is estimated to be 36 lakh tonnes as against the earlier estimate of 43 lakh tonnes. The decision was taken considering soaring prices of onions as compared to last year and that of past five years.
In addition, the Centre has also stepped up efforts to cool down onion prices by asking states and union territories to take the kitchen staple from the central buffer stock for retail intervention.
“We have stepped up efforts to check the price rise. We have requested state governments and union territories to take onion from our buffer stock for retail intervention,” consumer affairs Secretary Leena Nandan told news agency PTI.
This is the first time that the government has created a buffer stock of 1 lakh metric tonnes of onions to take care of rising price by the calibrated release of that stock.
“Central government supplied onions to various states according to their requirements. Till now, 35,000 metric tons of onion were given to states to maintain certain stability in prices,” she added.
The Centre is offering onion from the buffer stock stored at Nashik, Maharasthra, at the procured rate of Rs 26-28 per kg to states who wish to lift the stock on their own. For others who want it to be delivered, the offered price would be Rs 30 per kg, she noted.