Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain (File photo
Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain (File photo

Delhi minister writes to Paswan, seeks Centre's help in overcoming onion crisis

ANI | Updated: Oct 17, 2019 21:41 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 17 (ANI): Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain on Thursday wrote a letter to Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan seeking the intervention of the Central government to keep the onion prices under check and said that the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) should ensure adequate supply of the kitchen stable in the national capital.
Hussain requested Paswan to direct the NAFED to supply 10 trucks of onions everyday for Delhi for the next 10 days.
"The Centre had requested the Delhi government to undertake direct retailing of onions in Delhi from the central buffer to manage their prices and availability situation and was asked to indicate demand of onions from the central buffer immediately," Hussain wrote.
"Considering the request of the Centre and the unusual and sudden rise in retail prices of onions in Delhi, the Delhi government immediately took cognisance of the seriousness of the situation," he said.
The Delhi government is selling onions through mobile vans and fair price shops across the national capital at a subsidised rate of Rs 23.90 per kg.
"In pursuance of the same, for the benefit of people of Delhi, wide publicity in the media was given about the decision of the Delhi government to make onions available to the consumers in Delhi at Rs. 23.90 per kg from September 28 at 400 fair price shops and through 80 mobile vans," Hussain said.
The Delhi Food Minister told Paswan that the state government has adequate infrastructure in place for ensuring easy availability of onions in the city at doorsteps of people by arranging adequate number of mobile vans and sufficient manpower.
"The Cabinet of the Delhi government also decided to increase the number of mobile vans so as to cater to the each of the municipal wards in Delhi, thereby strengthening the number of mobile vans from 80 to 400," Hussain said.
He underlined that NAFED has always assured adequate supplies of onion during all its communications with the Food and Supplies Department and during the various review meetings taken by him. "However, NAFED has not been able to supply the onions as per requisition made to it from time to time," Hussain asserted.
The Delhi Minister said that the current situation is not only resulting in depriving the citizens of Delhi of the availability of onions at subsidised prices, but also leading to the under or non-utilisation of mobile vans and manpower arranged by the state government in a very short period of time.
"It may kindly be appreciated that such an unpleasant situation needs to be avoided. I would, therefore, seek your kind personal intervention in the matter. It is requested that NAFED may kindly be directed to supply adequate quantity of onions i.e. 10 trucks per day for the next 10 days for the onion prices to stabilise," Hussain wrote in the letter.
In order to contain the rising onion prices across the country, the Centre had on September 29 amended its export policy of onion from free to prohibited, which amounts to banning of all varieties of onions from export, with immediate effect.
The move was expected to curb onion exports and bring down the prices of onions in the domestic market. (ANI)