The government will allow export of onions from March 15 in the interest of farmers, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
In a horrific incident, an onion laden truck turned turtle after colliding with a car in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba on Feb 23.
Wholesale prices-based inflation accelerated to a 10-month high of 3.10 per cent in January mainly due to costlier food articles, particulary onion and potato, official data showed on Friday.
Releasing its first forecast, the Agriculture Ministry said onion crops has been grown in 12.93 lakh hectare in the 2019-20 crop year (July-June), slightly higher than 12.20 lakh hectare achieved during the previous year.
The retail inflation is on a 5-year high level of 7.4% as of December 2019 majorly driven by the inflation in the food price index, which also stood at 14.12%. A look at key statistics and what holds in future in terms of RBI's rate cut and probable inflation levels in the coming months.
To boost domestic supply and contain price rise, the government is importing onion through state-owned MMTC and also facilitating private imports.
The government had created a buffer stock of 56,000 tonnes for the current year but it was not sufficient to contain the prices which are still ruling above Rs 100 per kg in most cities across the country.
Onion prices continue to bring tears to common people as it touched Rs 150/kg in many cities across India. In Kolkata markets, onion was being sold at Rs 120/kg while many markets across Delhi and Mumbai it was priced above Rs 150/kg.
Election flying squad officials on Sunday seized 21 tonnes of onion from a vehicle near Sirkazhi in the district. The seizure was effected during vehicle checks carried out to monitor large scale movement of cash and other articles in the district ahead of the local body polls scheduled to be held on December 27 in the state.
The onion crisis could have been contained to some extent if state governments had effectively raided the hoarders in their respective jurisdictions, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar said on Thursday.
Wholesale inflation rose to 0.58 per cent in November mainly on account of rising prices of food articles, with onion alone spurting by over 172 per cent during the month vis-a-vis a year ago, government data showed on Monday.
A cloth seller in Maharashtra's Thane district smelled a business opportunity in the sky-rocketing prices of onions and offered a kilogram of the kitchen staple-free on purchase of items worth Rs 1,000.
A CCTV footage showed an unidentified man parking his two-wheeler and then opening the gunny bag covers kept on the pushcart and later putting the onions from a basket into his bag and later driving away.
In a satirical incident, a couple in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi exchanged garlands of onions and garlic during 'Jaymala Ceremony'. The norm of Indian wedding custom caught eyes as instead of flowers the garlands were fashioned out of onions and garlic.
Onion prices had touched Rs 160-170 per kg in local vegetable markets across Mumbai and its suburbs over the last week.
The Agriculture Ministry on Friday further extended relaxed fumigation norms for imported onions till January 31 in a bid to improve domestic supply and check prices that are ruling above Rs 100 per kg in many cities. The second extension has been given as most of the onion shipments are expected to arrive by next month.
With this, the total quantity of imports that have been contracted so far reached approximately 30,000 tonnes, an official statement said.
The rise in onion prices could have been controlled if the export ban on the vegetable had been implemented earlier. The state elections in Maharashtra and the stance of opposition parties in criticising the ban only made the situation worse.