New Delhi: Government has raised the quantum of onion buffer to 5 lakh metric tonne (LMT) this year, after achieving the initial procurement target of 3 lakh metric tonne.
Apart from releasing in major markets, onions from the buffer are also being made available to retail consumers at a subsidised rate of Rs 25 per kg through retail outlets and mobile vans of NCCF from Monday (August 21).
Retail sale of onion will be suitably enhanced in coming days by involving other agencies and e-commerce platforms.
Consumer affairs department has directed NCCF and NAFED to procure 1 lakh tonne each to achieve the additional procurement target alongside calibrated disposal of the procured stocks in major consumption centres, official sources said.
Disposal of onions from the buffer has commenced, targeting major markets in states where retail prices are above the all-India average or are significantly higher than the previous month.
As on date, about 1,400 metric tonnes of onions from the buffer have been dispatched to the targetted markets and are being continuously released to augment the availability.
Through measures like procurement for the buffer, targetted release of stocks and imposition of export duty, the government plans to ensure continuous availability of onions and also provide benefit to the farmers by assuring remunerative prices to them.
To improve the domestic availability of onions, government had on Saturday (August 19) imposed 40 per cent export duty on onions with immediate effect up to December 31, 2023.