The consumer affairs ministry is considering a proposal to offload imported onions at 20-25 rupees per kg in wholesale markets, a senior government official said.
“The home ministry has proposed this because states are not picking up stocks from imported onions and the vegetable is rotting as the shelf life of onion is short,” the official said.
The Centre, through state-owned trading agency MMTC Ltd, had imported a total 36,000 tn of onions due to spiralling prices in the domestic wholesale markets. However, states have not shown much interest in buying imported onions.
India has been importing the vegetable from Egypt, Afghanistan, Turkey, and the Netherlands to rein in rising prices of the commodity. So far, five states have picked up only 2,000 tn of the total imported quantity, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said.
The Centre had imported the vegetable at 55-56 rupees per kg but now fears that most of the stock will be damaged due to delay in consumption.
States are reluctant to buy the costly imported onions as prices have fallen in the spot markets with the arrival of fresh crop, traders said. In the key spot market of Lasalgaon, onion is currently being sold at 3,700 rupees per 100 kg.