7,000 tonnes of onion imported, more before Diwali: Govt

New Delhi: As retail onion prices skyrocket to over Rs 80 a kg in some parts of the country, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said private import of 7,000 tonnes and another 25,000 tonnes shipment before Diwali are expected to improve the domestic supply situation and check price rise of the commodity.

Enough supply will be there in the market as cooperative Nafed will also commence imports, he said.

Not only onion, about 10 lakh tonnes of potato is also being imported for which customs duty has been reduced to 10 per cent till January 2021, the minister said. About 30,000 tonnes of potato will arrive from Bhutan in the next few days, he added.

In a virtual press conference, Goyal said the retail prices of onion, potato and some of the pulses had increased. But for the last few days, the prices have been stable after the government took proactive measures, including ban on export of onion, to increase local supplies.

As a result, all India average retail price of onion has been ruling stable at around Rs 65 per kg, while that of potato at Rs 43 per kg, for the last three days, he added.

Meanwhile, the government on Friday permitted imports of potatoes from Bhutan without licence, a move aimed at boosting domestic supply and control prices of the agricultural commodity.

The imports are allowed without licence only up to January 31, 2021, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

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