Amit Shah meets on onion prices

New Delhi, December 5 () Since onion prices remain high above 100 rupees/kg in most cities, Interior Minister Amit Shah on Thursday reviewed the progress made on importation of staple foods to increase national supplies and control spiral prices.

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar were among the ministers who attended the meeting. The Minister of Food and Consumer Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan, was unable to attend the meeting due to health reasons, authorities said.

Cabinet secretary Rajeev Gauba, Prime Minister P K Sinha's advisor and Consumer Affairs secretary Avinash Srivastava were also present at the meeting, officials added.

The Interior Minister reviewed the progress made in the decisions made at the last meeting with respect to facilitating the rapid import of onion that would help improve availability and fresh prices.

The secretary of consumer affairs, who made a presentation on the situation of the price of onion at the meeting, reported that the state MMTC has contracted the import of more than 21,000 tons of onion from Egypt and Turkey and shipments are expected to arrive in mid-January

The secretary said the tender and fumigation rules have been softened to facilitate the early arrival of imported onions. MMTC has been ordered to issue two country-specific tenders and one global tender for 5,000 tons each, sources said.

He also reported that stock limits for retailers and wholesalers have been further reduced to 5 tons and 25 tons, respectively, to control hoarding. Onion exports have already been banned and supplies are also being improved through regulatory stocks, the sources added. Onion prices have been ruling high in recent weeks due to the fall in production of Kharif production due to seasonal rainfall in key growth states, including Maharashtra. LUX ACB MR

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