Govt irons out plan to check onion prices
New Delhi: With prices of onions expected to go further north in the next couple of days, Delhi government may start selling the kitchen staple at controlled prices through fair price shops and mobile vans in the capital.
Delhi food and supplies minister Imran Hussain on Friday directed the officials to make “adequate arrangements” to check the spiralling prices of onions and ensure their supply to FPS for retail sales in case any “emergency situation arises”.
The wholesale prices of the edible bulb at the Lasalgon APMC in Maharashtra touched a four-year high of Rs 4,500 per quintal on Thursday due to scarce supply after excessive rains in various parts of the country. Officials say the higher wholesale prices will start impacting the retail prices in Delhi in a day or two. The retail price of onions in NCR has already touched Rs 70 per kilo, said officials.
Hussain held a meeting with the officials of the department of food and supplies, Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) and Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board on Friday to review the situation. A separate meeting was also held with DSCSC officials and transporters to ensure that the supply of onions is not affected.
Officials said that the government has already constituted a high-level Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary to suggest market intervention for checking the prices of essential commodities. “This committee has also been activated to timely and effectively deal with the situation of high retail prices of onion,” said an official.
“The officials of F&S department and APMC have already been directed by the minister to make regular field inspections and carry out enforcement activities in order to check the instances of hoarding, black-marketing and profiteering,” he added.
Astatement issued by Delhi government said that the officers present in the meeting expected that due to ongoing phase of “shraadh’ (a period of 15 days in the Hindu calendar when people abstain from rich food in remembrance of departed souls) followed by the festive period of Navratri, the demand of onions would decrease, which would help in neutralising some effect of the price rise.
“The Centre has also written to the Delhi government that as a measure of market intervention for checking their retail prices, NAFED can also supply 200 metric tonnes of onions every day through eight trucks for their retail sale in Delhi,” the statement said.
Food and supplies minister Imran Hussain directed officials to make ‘adequate arrangements’ to rein in onion prices