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Govt to procure 2 lakh tn of onion to create total 5-lakh-tn buffer stock this year

The government on Sunday announced it will procure an additional 2 lakh tonnes of onion in order to maintain a total buffer stock of 5 lakh tonnes

Published Date – 05:55 PM, Sun – 20 August 23


Govt to procure 2 lakh tn of onion to create total 5-lakh-tn buffer stock this year

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New Delhi: The government on Sunday announced it will procure an additional 2 lakh tonnes of onion in order to maintain a total buffer stock of 5 lakh tonnes this year and use that for retail intervention.

The announcement has come a day after the government imposed a 40 per cent duty on the export of onions to improve local supplies and check its prices.

For the current 2023-24 fiscal, the target for onion buffer was kept at 3 lakh tonnes, which has already been procured.

Currently, the same buffer stock is being disposed of in the targeted markets in select states to improve the local availability and check price rise.

According to the official data, all-India average retail price of onion was ruling 19 per cent higher at Rs 29.73 per kg on Sunday compared to Rs 25 per kg in the year-ago period. In Delhi, retail price of onion has increased to Rs 37 per kg from Rs 28 per kg in the said period.

“In an unprecedented move the government raised the quantum of onion buffer to 5 lakh tonne this year, after achieving the initial procurement target of 3 lakh tonne,” Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) have been directed to procure one lakh tonne each to achieve the additional procurement target alongside calibrated disposal of the procured stocks in major consumption centres, it said.

The buffer stock is maintained under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) to meet any exigencies, if rates go up significantly during the lean supply season. The government had maintained a buffer onion of 2.51 lakh tonne during the 2022-23 fiscal.

On disposal of onion from the buffer stock, the ministry said it has already commenced in target major markets in states and union territories where retail prices are above the all-India average and/or are significantly higher than the previous month.

“As of date, about 1,400 tonnes of onions from the buffer have been dispatched to the targeted markets and are being continuously released to augment the availability,” it said.

Apart from releasing in major markets, onions from the buffer are also being made available to retail consumers at a subsidized rate of Rs 25 per kg through retail outlets and mobile vans of NCCF from August 21 in key markets.

“Retail sale of onion will be suitably enhanced in coming days by involving other agencies and e-commerce platforms,” according to the ministry.

The multipronged measures taken by the government onion like procurement for the buffer, targeted release of stocks and imposition of export duty will benefit the farmers and consumers by assuring remunerative prices to the onion farmers while ensuring continuous availability to the consumers at affordable prices, it added.

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