In a bid to tame soaring onion prices, the Centre on Friday asked public sector trading agency MMTC to import one lakh tonnes of onions for distribution between November 15 and December 15. The MMTC has already issued a tender to import 2,000 tonnes of onions from Dubai and is exploring options in Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, officials said.
The Consumer Affairs Ministry directed MMTC to take steps to import one lakh tonnes of the staple vegetable, in a letter to the MMTC chairman and managing director Ved Prakash from Consumer Affairs Economic Advisor Awadhesh Kumar Choudhary.
MMTC has already issued a tender to import 2,000 tonnes of onions from Dubai and is exploring options in Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, officials said.
On the domestic side, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India will receive and dispense dispose of the onion stock acquired by MMTC.
The letter added that the onion price situation is being monitored by a high-level committee on commodities and changes to the import order would be made if the situation changed.
Onion prices crossed the 100 per kg mark in Delhi earlier this week, while retail rates are hovering around 80 per kg in several metros. The price rise is caused by supply disruptions due to flooding, especially in Maharashtra, where excess rain has destroyed half the kharif season onion crop.