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The average national retail price of onions is down 60% from last year: Government | India News

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NEW DELHI: The average retail price of onions across India has fallen 60 percent this year to Rs 40 per kg thanks to timely government interventions to boost supply, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said on Thursday .
Speaking to PTI, Nandan said there has been a sharp drop in onion prices across the country.
“In just one month, the average retail price of onions across India has fallen 33.33 percent to Rs 40 per kg today from Rs 60 per kg on November 30 this year,” he said.
Since December 31, 2019, when the national average price was as high as Rs 100 per kg, it has now fallen to Rs 40 per kg, bringing much relief to consumers, Nandan said.
In the national capital, the average price is even lower, 30 rupees per kg on Thursday, compared to 100 rupees per kg on December 31, 2019, he said.
In Mumbai, the average price was Rs 48 per kg on Thursday, up from Rs 93 per kg a year ago, while it has fallen from Rs 90 to Rs 40 per kg in Kolkata and from Rs 85 to 42 per kg in that period. , according to data maintained by the Ministry of Consumption.
However, private traders said that retail prices for onions vary by quality and locality compared to government price data.
Nandan said the 60 percent drop in the national average price has been made possible by timely government interventions taken since September.
Highlighting a series of measures taken to control onion prices, the secretary said that the government for the first time completely banned onion exports on September 14.
After that, a stock limit was imposed for three months, from October 23 to December 31, on wholesalers and retailers. In the first instance, the government prescribed quantities that traders can store and this had an immediate impact, he said.
In addition, the government facilitated the importation of onions to improve the local supply and control the increase in prices.
“A lot of facilitation was made at the Attari-Wagah (Punjab) border and seaports for a quick evacuation of imported onions. Good quantities of imported onions arrived,” he said.
According to the secretary, the government took steps to facilitate imports from Afghanistan and other countries, as well as to directly import onions through the Nafed cooperative.
“Around 70,000-75,000 tonnes of onions were imported through private traders in 2020. Nafed also imported around 3,000 tonnes of onions,” he said.
Nafed imported red onions of a particular dimension. taking into account last year’s experience, and he immediately downloaded those from the local market that helped cool down prices, he said.
“All these steps taken together have resulted in a situation in which the figures speak for themselves,” he said.
When asked about the increase in onion prices in the Lasalgaon Wholesale Market in Maharashtra after the government announced the lifting of the export ban from January 1, the secretary said: “That’s good. If good quantities are entering the market, then there is no need to artificially restrict exports. There is a logic. ”
The measures to ban exports were previously taken for the purpose of controlling consumer prices that have an impact on consumer price inflation, he said.
Nandan said that retail onion prices cooled with the supply of fresh kharif harvest to the markets.
He also said that the country’s kharif onion production has been in line with expectations.
Looking ahead, the government has decided to upgrade onion buffer stocks from 1 lakh tonnes to 1.5 lakh tonnes for the 2021 rabi season, he added.

Times of India

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