Centre to offer onions to States at Rs 49 to Rs 58 per kg, says Union Minister Paswan

New Delhi [India], Jan 7 (ANI): Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday said the Centre has decided to offer onions to states at the landing price in Mumbai ranging from Rs 49 to Rs 58 per kilogram.

The Union Minister said that imports began from mid-December and states were asked to place their firm demand in order to get the supply from the imported stock.

States had initially put a demand for 33,139 MT (metric tonne) of onions which was later revised to 14,309 MT due to various reasons including the reduction in domestic prices and improved availability, he said.

Paswan, who was addressing a press conference here, said that orders of onions were placed strategically in small lots and over a period of time to ensure international prices don't increase drastically.

"The Union Government had planned the imports based on the initial demand and has already contracted almost 40,000 MT of onions, which will arrive in India before the end of January. So far, 12,000 MT of onions have arrived in the country and is ready for distribution among the state government."

The minister said that the main concern is to protect the interest of consumers and for ensuring that, the domestic supply is being augmented with imports so that prices are moderated and overall availability is increased.

He said that there has to be a coordinated effort between the Central and State governments and the consumers to ensure this objective is achieved, an official release said.

Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash Srivastava said the Cabinet Secretary held a video conference this morning to persuade State governments to buy more onions from the imported stock for direct retailing and distribution in the State to increase overall availability and reduce prices. (ANI)