New Delhi, August 22, 2023 (IANS): Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the Central government has started onion procurement at Rs 2,410 per quintal in Maharashtra to protect farmers amid export curbs.
“NCCF and NAFED had started the sale of onions at subsidised rate of Rs 25 per kg to consumers across the country on Monday. Today, a further boost will be given. Both consumers and farmers are precious for us. I urge the farmers to not worry, and sell their produce at good price,” Goyal said in a press conference.
“Farmers have nothing to worry about and should not indulge in panic selling. I am in continuous dialogue with both Eknath Shinde (Maharashtra Chief Minister) and Devendra Fadnavis (Deputy Chief Minister). Ajit Pawar and I have spoken several times. I am also in touch with the Maharashtra Agriculture Minister and several other state ministers,” the Union Commerce Minister added.
He said that the Centre will make onions available at Rs 25 per kg to consumers to keep prices stable.
“We will reach areas which see prices of onion rise and make the commodity available at subsidised prices,” Goyal said.
Onion prices have been on a rise with prices rising from Rs 30 a kg to Rs 40 a kg now.
“On August 17, two important decisions were taken, on the export 40 per cent tax has been imposed. But along with this, NCCF and NAFED will buy 5 lakh tons of onions instead of 3 lakh, so that our farmers don’t have any problems. Two lakh tonnes will be bought at Rs 2,410 per quintal, while both NCCF and NAFED will sell onions at a subsidised rate of Rs 25 kg for consumers in different regions. This subsidy will be provided by the government,” the Minister said.
Anticipating a huge spike in prices, the Centre on August 19 had imposed a 40 per cent duty on onion exports till December 31 with immediate effect to improve domestic availability of the vegetable.
However, on Monday, the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) of Lasalgaon in Nashik, Asia’s largest onion market, stopped onion trading indefinitely to protest the Centre’s decision to impose export duty, which has forced itto procure onions from the state.