Pak onion lands at Mundra port

Ahmedabad/New Delhi: The first consignment of about 200 tonnes of onion imported by the government from Pakistan landed at the Mundra port in Gujarat on Friday and is likely to reach Delhi on Tuesday.

The government had asked state-owned trading agencies PEC and STC to import onion to boost domestic supply and rein in the soaring prices of the kitchen staple.

Since Pakistan had banned trade of onion to India through land route, the government agencies had to seek the vegetable through sea route.

The onion laden ship `Ocean Promoter` anchored at Mundra port in the afternoon, port sources said, adding that the first consignment was contracted by PEC Ltd.

Another shipment ordered by PEC of 550 tonnes from Pakistan is expected at the same Gujarat port shortly. It would also arrive in Delhi by trucks subsequently.

Meanwhile, the Union Agriculture Ministry said, "This stock (200 tonnes of onion) is expected to reach Delhi by January 18 (Tuesday) for onward retail sale through Mother Dairy, Kendriya Bhandar, Nafed and NCCF."

The onion would be sold at Rs 35/kg which is quiet cheap compared to the prevailing rates varying around Rs 50-60 a kg.

Delhi and other cities of the country are battling astronomical hike in onion prices for the last almost one month forcing the government to take some stringent measures like banning onion export and abolishing import duty on the price sensitive commodity.