Government of India has been keeping a close watch on the rise in prices of Onions. A decision has been taken by the Government to import Onions and a tender has also been floated for 10,000 MT of Onions which will be opened on 27th August, 2015.
To increase the availability of Onions in domestic market, it has been decided to raise MEP of Onions further to US$ 700 per MT. MEP was last increased from US$ 250 per MT to US$ 425 per MT. on 26th June, 2015.
The prices of Onions are being reviewed regularly. A meeting is again being held by Secretary (Consumer Affairs) on 24th August, 2015 with SFAC, NAFED, MMTC, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Government of Delhi to review the action taken to keep the prices of Onions in check.
To intervene in the market, Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) and NAFED have procured 5857 MT of Onion. This has been funded out of Price Stabilisation Fund meant to keep prices of essential commodities under control. SFAC has also procured 2511 MT of Onions for the Delhi Govt., making a total stock of 8368 MT of Onions. SFAC is supplying Onions at Rs.30.50 per kg. to SAFAL, which is retailing at Rs.39 per kg. in Delhi. SFAC is also selling Onions to consumers at Rs.35 per kg. through 120 milk booths of DMS. A decision was also taken by Govt. of Delhi to sell Onions at subsidized rate of Rs.40 per kg. through 280 Fair Price Shops, which was further reduced to Rs.30 per kg. w.e.f. 12.8.2015
Prices of Onions have been rising on account of a decline in total production from 189.23 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 as against 194.02 lakh tonnes in 2013-14 i.e. a decrease of 4.79 lakh tonnes. The shortfall has primarily been on account of adverse weather conditions including unseasonal rains which has impacted both the standing and harvested crop at the major producing centres.
In order to contain price rise of essential commodities a National Consultation Meeting was also held with all State/UTs Ministers in-charge of Food and Consumer Affairs on 7th July, 2015 which resolved to keep prices of essential commodities, especially Onions under control. It also recommended effective action against hoarding and blackmarketing to control prices of food items. Chief Secretaries of States / UTs are also being reminded regularly to keep a watch on price rise and take effective action.
Union Government made an amendment of EC Act, 1955 on 1st July, 2015 to enable State Govt./UTs to impose stock limits on Onions for a further period of one year till 2nd July, 2016.