Nafed, NCCF, Kendriya Bhandar asked to sell onion at 23/kg

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New Delhi: Food minister K V Thomas on Thursday asked agri-cooperative Nafed, the National Cooperative Consumers` Federation and Kendriya Bhandar to sell onion at Rs 22-23 a kg in the national capital from February 1.

"I instructed Nafed, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar to bring down the rate of subsidised onion vendored by them to consumers in the national capital to Rs 22-23 a kg from February 1," Thomas told PTI.

"The rate will be further reviewed as the situation improves with the time," he added.

Nafed, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar are selling onion at Rs 30/kg in the national capital to provide relief to citizens from skyrocketing price of the kitchen staple.

The meeting attended by senior officials of premier agri-cooperative Nafed, NCCF and the Consumer Affairs Ministry discussed the latest situation of the onion crisis precipitated by shooting of rates of onion to Rs 70-85 a kg in Delhi and other cities around December 21.

Thomas said "no decision was taken on resumption of onion export till the situation comes under complete control".

After initially suspending the onion export till January 10, the government had banned overseas shipments to indefinite period to rein in high prices.

Nafed and 12 other agencies regulate onion exports.

Official sources said that the minister was told that the onion situation was improving fast as the wholesale rates of the bulb have come down substantially to the level of Rs 4-17 in the national capital and Rs 13-14 per kg in the main producing region Nashik.

"The meeting greeted downward trend of prices of onion in the wholesale markets which will impact the retail markets soon," the sources said.

Meanwhile, NHRDF (National Horticultural Research Development Foundation) which publishes daily rates of essentials like onion, garlic and potato in prominent cities, said that the wholesale rate of onion came down to Rs 14/kg in Lasalgaon and Rs 12 per kg in Pimpalgaon markets in the Nashik district of Maharashtra.

The wholesale rate of the root vegetable was Rs 4-17 per kg in Azadpur (Asia`s biggest wholesale fruits & vegetables market), General Secretary Onion Merchants Association Rajendra Sharma said.

But, the vegetable continue to sell at Rs 40 a kg in the retail markets of the national capital as is the case for the past one 5-6 days.

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