Amidst surging onion prices, International trading company MMTC has placed another import order of four thousand tonnes of onion from Turkey which is expected to arrive in India by January in 2020.This would be in addition to over 17,000 tonnes of onions which have already been contracted from Egypt and Turkey.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has directed MMTC to issue three more tenders for import of onions, out of which two tenders are country-specific namely Turkey and the European Union and one is a global tender. Each of these tenders is for 5,000 MT.
Certain relaxations were provided in the new tenders such as size range of onions have been expanded to 40mm to 80mm, consortium bidding has been allowed and exporters can now offer shipment in multiple lots.
Additionally, fumigation condition relaxations that were earlier provided till November 30, 2019 have now been extended till December 31, 2019. This is expected to further increase participation, competition and reduce price.
A coordination committee has also been formed by the Department of Consumer Affairs to ensure that the entire process of import and distribution is streamlined so as to ensure timely arrivals and movement of Onions and sale by states.
The committee is holding meetings on a daily basis with participation from officials of MMTC, NAFED, CONCOR and associated ministries and departments.
The Ministry of Shipping has also assured that it will provide priority landing and docking for the ships containing the imported onions and will also be appointing a nodal officer at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JPNT), Mumbai, for ensuring speedy arrivals and onward distribution and dispatch.
The government has also planned procurement of domestically produced onions from major onion producing states.
On December 3, the Union government had revised stock holding limit on onions to 25 tonnes on wholesalers and five tonnes on retailers.
Importers will be exempted from these stock limits for imported stock.
Meanwhile, the onion price in many parts of the country including Patna and Kanpur has plunged to Rs 100 and Rs 120 per kilogram with consumers urging the government's to implement urgent measures to curb hike in price.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)