Private traders have imported 11,400 tonnes of onion to boost domestic supply and control prices that have risen in the last one month, the government said today.
While 2,400 tonnes of imported onions have arrived in the country, another 9,000 tonnes is expected to arrive at ports shortly, according to an official statement.
Onion prices have shot up to Rs 35-40 per kg in the retail market from Rs 20 per kg a month back.
The Consumer Affairs Ministry maintained that prices have risen due to speculation and unscrupulous trade activities.
The departments of consumer affairs and commerce recently held meeting with traders/importers to review onion price and availability situation.
"It transpired that import of around 2,400 tonnes of onion has arrived while another 9,000 tonnes is expected shortly," the statement said.
The department of consumer affairs said it would regularly review the price situation and facilitate imports by private traders to help moderate speculation in the market if prices go up unreasonably.
Stating that estimate of production of onion for 2016-17 is higher at 217.2 lakh tonnes compared to earlier forecast of 215.6 lakh tonnes, the ministry said: "...there appears to be no underline cause for prices of onion to increase. However, prices of onion have recorded increase over the last month." To discourage speculative and unscrupulous trade activities, the Department of Consumer Affairs has empowered states to impose stock limit on onion.
"Recent production does indicate that as per the fundamentals, there is no rational for prices of onion to rise any further," the statement said.
As per the latest horticulture production data, onion output rose by nearly 4 per cent to 21.7 million tonnes in 2016-17 compared to last year.
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat are major onion producing states in the country.