Centre releases 1.11 lakh tonnes of buffer onion to cool down retail prices during the festive season

The Indian government has released 1.11 lakh tonnes of onion from its buffer stock in major markets across the country so far. This has helped cool down the retail prices by Rs 5 to Rs 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, onions were disposed of in local markets in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. “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. 

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.

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. 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.

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