State-owned MMTC, which has been directed to import 1 lakh tonnes of onion, has floated two separate bids for import of 4,000 tonnes onion in order to boost domestic availability and check prices that have risen sharply up to Rs 100/kg in most places, including the national capital.
The government on Saturday decided to import 1 lakh tonnes of onion to control prices.
While trading firm MMTC will import onions, cooperative Nafed will supply the key kitchen item in the domestic market. The decision was taken at a meeting of committee of secretaries held on Saturday.
"The government has taken a decision to import 1 lakh tonnes of onion to control prices," Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said in a tweet on Saturday.
MMTC has been asked to import onions and make it available for distribution in the domestic market between November 15 and December 15 period, he said, adding that Nafed has been directed to supply imported onions across the country.
Retail prices have increased up to Rs 100 per kg in the national capital and are ruling in the range of Rs 60-80 per kg in other parts of the country, as per trade data.
According to MMTC, one tender will close on November 14, while the other will close on November 18. The first shipment of 2,000 tonnes should arrive at Indian ports immediately, while the second one can be delivered by December-end.
Bidders should quote for a minimum quantity of 500 tonnes. In case of inland container depot, the minimum bid quantity would be 250 tonnes.
The exact supply order will be regulated in units of 250 tonnes, depending upon the requirement.
Fresh onions can be imported from any country but the shipment should adhere to the phytosanitary and fumigation conditions, it added.
Meanwhile, the government is also trying to facilitate import of onion through private traders from Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan, for which phytosanitary and fumigation norms have been liberalised till November 30.