Government Further Caps Stock Limit On Onion Retailers To 2 Tonne To Check Hoarding
A worker rests while sitting on bags of onions and potatoes on a truck at a market in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Government Further Caps Stock Limit On Onion Retailers To 2 Tonne To Check Hoarding

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The Centre on Monday further reduced the stock holding limit for onion to 2 tonne from 5 tonne for retail traders as part of efforts to check hoarding and boost domestic supply of the kitchen staple.

In a statement, the consumer affairs ministry directed the state governments to undertake anti-hoarding operation with immediate effect on retail traders.

Last week, the ministry had reduced the stock holding limit for retailers to 5 tonne from 10 tonne while that on wholesalers to 25 tonne from 50 tonne as onion prices were ruling high up to Rs 150 per kilogram.

Also read: MMTC Importing Onions To Meet Demand; Shipment Likely By Jan. 20

With retail prices failing to cool down, the ministry has further reduced the stock limits on retailers to 2 tonne from the existing level of 5 tonne with immediate effect, the statement added.

Retail onion prices have risen in the past two months due to short supply owing to fall in production of kharif (summer) crop after heavy rains.

As per the ministry's data, maximum retail prices are ruling at Rs 165 per kg on Monday, while modal price was at Rs 100 per kg. In most cities, onions are quoted over Rs 100 per kg in retail markets, pinching hard on consumers' pocket.

Also read: Retail Onion Prices Touch Rs 140/Kg-Mark In Few Cities

The government has taken several measures to improve the supply of onion across the country and check price rise. Besides banning export, the government is boosting the supply through various modes including through sale of buffer stock onions at a subsidised rates and imports.

State-run MMTC has been asked to import about 1 lakh tonne of onions and the agency has already contracted over 21,000 tonne and the shipment is expected to arrive mid-January.

Experts are of the view that onion prices will remain firm till the first week of January when the late kharif onions will start hitting the market.

Also read: Debate Over Onion Price Spices Up Political Talk

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