Onion prices on govt radar, but no plans to reintroduce MEP
Commerce ministry official told FE that the government is “keeping a close watch on the price movement of the key agricultural commodity and supply situation is likely to improve shortly.”
MEP on onion was removed in June last year following a sharp drop in domestic prices.
A deficient kharif output this year in Maharashtra, the biggest producer of onion, has pushed up onion prices in Nasik, the hub of the trade, sharply during last two weeks.
A trader from Nasik said wholesale price of onion has increased to R1,900 per quintal in comparison to R1,200 per quintal prevailed a two weeks back. At the retail market in Delhi, the price of onion rose to R35-40 a kg from R25 a kg a week back.
Last week, officials from the department of consumer affairs, commerce and agriculture held a meeting with the union cabinet secretary to deliberate on spike in onion prices. Sources said agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has opposed re-imposition of MEP on onion.
In 2011-12 (July-June) the onion production was estimated at 15.13 million tonne. The output this year is expected to decline by around 20% because of poor rainfall in Maharashtra — which is responsible for over 40% of the total onion production in the country. The country had been exporting about one lakh tonne of onion monthly since June.
Meanwhile, Nasik-based National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation has attributed
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