New Delhi: The Government of India has imposed a 40 percent duty on onion exports to curb rising prices and improve supplies in the domestic market. Meanwhile, the Narendra Modi government has announced to sell onions at a subsidized rate from Monday. According to the government, it will sell onions at a subsidized rate of Rs 25 per kg to customers from Monday through retail outlets and mobile vans. The government will sell onions through the National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India Limited (NCCF).
The NCCF is already selling tomatoes at a subsidized rate from the Centre. Now the government has also entrusted it with the work of retail buffer onions.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution said, “The Government of India has increased the onion buffer quantity to 5.00 Lakh MT this year after achieving the initial procurement target of 3.00 Lakh MT. In this regard, the Department of Consumer Affairs has directed NCCF and NAFED to procure 1.00 Lakh Tonnes to achieve the additional procurement target along with calibrated disposal of procured stocks in major consumption centers.
It is noteworthy that the government had set a target of three lakh tonnes of onion buffer stock for the financial year 2023-24, which has now been increased by two lakh tonnes.
NCCF Managing Director Anees Joseph said, “Initially we will start the retail sale of onions (from buffer stock) in Delhi. We will sell it at a subsidized rate of Rs 25 per kg through mobile vans and two retail outlets. About 10 mobile vans will be sent to the national capital on Monday and gradually more areas will be covered, he said.
It will also sell onions through its two retail outlets located at Nehru Place and Okhla in the national capital. He said that NCCF has also planned to sell onions online through ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) platform and is working out the modalities. The government has identified Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, and Assam for market intervention. In these five states, onions from the buffer stock are being used in both wholesale and retail markets.
Joseph said that buffer onions are being sold at the mandi rate in the wholesale markets, while in the retail markets, it is being sold at a concessional rate of Rs 25 per kg. Retail sales in Delhi will start on Monday, while in the other four states, it will start two days later. According to official data, the nationwide retail price of onion was up 19 percent year-on-year to Rs 29.73 per kg on Sunday. It was Rs 25 per kg on the same day in the last financial year. The retail price of onion in Delhi is Rs 37 per kg, compared to Rs 28 per kg on the same day last year.