Govt imposes stock limit on onions for wholesalers, retailers


NEW DELHI: The Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan on Friday announced that in view of the rising price of onion from the second week of September, the government has imposed a stock limit on onion effective from today.

“We have imposed a stock limit on onions effective from today. A notification has been issued. The stock limit for a wholesaler is 25 metric tons and for retailers, it is 2 metric tons,” Leena Nandan told reporters here.

“As a nation, we are a large consumer of onions. Proactive steps have been taken constantly to augment the production of onions. But from the second week of September, there’s been a steady increase in the relatively stable prices,” she added.

“The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 provides for the circumstances for imposition of stock limit under extraordinary price rise. The All India average retail price variation of onions as of October 21, 2020, when compared to last year is 22.12 per cent (from Rs 45.33 to Rs 55.60 per Kg) and when compared to last 5 years average is 114.96 per cent (from Rs 25.87 to 55.60 per Kg),” the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said in a release.
The stock limit has been imposed on the basis of this rise, it added.
Leena Nandan further said that the central government has also supplied 35,000 metric tons of onions to states to maintain stability in prices.

“The Central Government supplied onions to various states according to their requirements. Till now 35 thousand metric tons of onion were given to states to maintain certain stability in prices,” Nandan said.

The Consumer Affairs Secretary further said that the government has created a buffer stock of 1 lakh metric tonnes of onions.

“We have taken some steps to counter the price rise in onion. This is the first time when we have created a buffer stock of 1 lakh metric tonnes of onions to take care of rising price by the calibrated release of that stock,” she said.
Further, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said that onions are also being disposed of through open market sales. This will be stepped up further to bring down the price rise.

An estimated Kharif crop of 37 LMT is also likely to start arriving in the Mandis that will add to the availability of onions. Apart from facilitating the import by the private traders, it has also been decided that MMTC would start importing red onions to meet the demand-supply gap, it added.

“Requisite action under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980 would be taken to prevent any hoarding, black marketing of onions by unscrupulous elements,” the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said.

Meanwhile, the Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, Sudhanshu Pandey attributed the price rise of onions to rainfall in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

“Due to rainfall in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, there has been an increase in the price of onion,” he said. (ANI)