MMTC importing onions to meet demand: MoS Consumer Affairs

Onion prices which have been fluctuating for over a month in Delhi, touched ₹109 per kg in the city. Representational image only. Photo: iStock

State-run trading company MMTC is importing onions to check spiralling prices and the shipment is expected to arrive by January 20, Union Minister Danve Raosaheb Dadarao said in Rajya Sabha on Friday (December 6).

Delayed and prolonged rains are the main reason for damage to onion crops, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Dadarao said during Question Hour.

He said the government used buffer stock to meet the crisis.

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“Onion prices are rising and there can be no two opinions. Late rains and prolonged rains damaged onion crop. But the government had buffer stock, it was distributed from that. MMTC is importing from various countries and it is expected by January 20,” the Minister said replying to a supplementary.

On Thursday, onion prices which have been fluctuating for over a month in Delhi, touched ₹109 per kg in many markets in the city.

About edible oil, the minister said it’s domestic production is not adequate to meet demand in the country and gap between demand and production is met through imports.

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“The production of soybean in Maharashtra for 2019-20 is expected to be 42.08 lakh tonne as compared to 45.48 Lakh tonne in 2018-19. However, the expected production of 42.08 LT of soybean in 2019-20, in Maharashtra, is more than the last five years average production of 34.77 LMT,” the minister said.

In case of any decline in the domestic production, the gap between demand and availability is met through import of edible oils, he said.

He said while the government has taken various steps to enhance edible oil production, 60 per cent of its requirement is met through imports while only 40 per cent was met through domestic production.

He said its minimum support price has been increased.

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