2,500 tonnes of onion imported

New Delhi: With the price of onions hitting the century mark, the government is expediting supply from imports with over 5,500 tonnes of onion are to hit the retail markets shortly.

Of this, 2,500 tonnes have already reached the Indian ports in 80 containers of which 70 are from Egypt and 10 from Netherlands. Another 3,000 tonnes are to come from 100 containers in the high seas which are being diverted to Indian ports, Agriculture Ministry sources said.

Onions are in short supply as erratic rains have hit production by 30-40 percent this year and their price has crossed Rs 100 a kg.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry had announced that the government will act as a facilitator for onion imports to ease the process and ensure a quick and healthy supply from other countries.

To achieve this, the phytosanitary and fumigation requirements have been liberalised by the Agriculture Ministry.

The Indian missions in Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey and Iran have been asked to facilitate supply of onions to India.

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday said that the government is taking steps to lower prices by creating a buffer stock of 56,700 tonnes of onion out of which 1,525 tonnes are available with NAFED at present, banning the export of onions so as to retain stock for domestic consumption and putting stock holding limit of 10 tonnes for retailers and 50 tonnes for wholesalers to ensure a constant and healthy supply in the market.

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