New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday said it has so far released 1.11 lakh tonnes of onion from its buffer stock in major markets across the country, which helped cool down the retail prices by Rs 5-12 per kg.
The buffer onion was released in major markets such as Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kochi and Raipur.
In addition, onion was disposed of in local markets in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, it added.
“Onion prices are being also stabilised through buffer stock. …Efforts of the Centre to ease onion prices is now bearing results,” the consumer affairs ministry said in a statement.
Onion prices are now cheaper than last year as the average all India retail price of the key kitchen staple is ruling at Rs 40.13 per kg, while in wholesale market it is at Rs 31.15 per kg, it said.
A total of 1,11,376.17 tonnes of onion from the buffer stock was in major markets till November 2, it added.
As per the ministry data, the intervention has helped cool down retail prices by Rs 5-12 per kg so far.
For instance in Delhi, retail onion prices have fallen to Rs 44 per kg on November 3 from the high of Rs 49 on October 20. In Mumbai, onion prices have declined to Rs 45 from the high of Rs 50 per kg on October 14.
In Kolkata, retail price of onion dropped to Rs 45 from Rs 57 per kg on October 17, while in Chennai it declined to Rs 37 from Rs 42 per kg on October 13, the data showed.
According to the ministry, onion prices had started rising from the first week of October due to rains that disrupted the supply chain.
In order to cool down prices, the government has taken up calibrated and targeted release of onions from the buffer stock on first-in-first-out (FIFO) principle, guided by the twin objectives of moderating prices and ensuring minimal storage loss.
Apart from releasing in the market, the government has offered buffer onion at Rs 21 per kg to all states and union territories for lifting from the storage locations.
This would enable states/UTs to take up by themselves market interventions either through direct supply to retail consumers via retail outlets or release in key markets to bring down prices.
“The stocks are also available for supply to Central/States agencies involved in retail marketing either at ex-storage rate of Rs 21/kg or at landed price after including transportation costs,” the ministry said.
Mother Dairy’s Safal has been offered onion at landed price of Rs 26/kg and it has lifted 400 tonnes. Buffer onion is also being supplied to Nagaland.
Onion buffer has been maintained under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) with the objective of effective market intervention to moderate prices. Also Read: Retro Tax Case: Cairn agrees to withdraw cases against India to get Rs 7,900 crore refund
A total of 2.08 lakh tonnes of onion had been procured for buffer during 2021-22, slightly higher than the target of 2 lakh tonnes, it added. Also Read: Diwali Muhurat Trading 2021: Timings, significance and advice for investors