New Delhi [India], Nov 6 (ANI): Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday said that the Centre will act as a facilitator for import of onion.
"The Union Government is taking all possible steps to curb price rise including creating a buffer stock of 56,700 tons of onions out of which 1525 tons are available with the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) at present," Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Paswan said in a press conference after reviewing prices and stock of onion.
He said there is a ban on the export of onions to retain stock for domestic consumption and putting stock holding limit of 10 metric tonnes for retailers and 50 metric tonnes for wholesalers to ensure a constant and healthy supply in the market. He, however, said that the Union Government will act as a facilitator for import of onion.
Enumerating the reasons for the spurt in prices Paswan said that all steps were taken but there is a 30-40 per cent reduction in the production of onions and the supply has been disrupted due to rains.
The arrival of onions in Delhi mandi is up to 25 per cent lesser than previous years in the same time, he said.
Talking about the key decisions taken to further augment supplies, Paswan said that phytosanitary and fumigation requirement have been suitably liberalised by the Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate imports up to November 30 subject to certain conditions.
He said this will facilitate immediate import of onions without compromising with the safety and quality.
"Along with that Indian missions in Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey and Iran are being requested to facilitate the supply of onions to India. The Commerce Ministry has also been asked to see the feasibility of banning the export of dehydrated onions which can then be used for domestic consumption," Paswan said. (ANI)