Gunny bags of onions | Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Gunny bags of onions | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has asked Bangladesh to procure the onions that India has imported after a majority of states withdrew their demand for the commodity, ThePrint has learnt.

At a meeting held Monday, the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry made an offer to acting Bangladesh High Commissioner Rokebul Haque to buy the onion stock that India had imported for domestic consumption, said a senior government official familiar with the matter.

As of 12 January, 18,000 metric tonnes (MT) of imported onions had arrived in India out of a total contract of 36,000 MT, said the official who didn’t wish to be named.

“Out of the amount of arrived onions, the state governments have only procured around 3,000 MT while the rest of the stock is waiting at Mumbai JNPT port,” the official added.

Maharashtra, Assam, Haryana, Karnataka and Odisha have withdrawn their demand of 10,000 MT, 3,000 MT, 3,480 MT, 250 MT and 100 MT of imported onion, respectively, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan confirmed earlier this month.

The states had asked for imported onions to deflate the soaring prices — over Rs 100 per kg in November-December — of the commodity, but backed out citing high prices and difference in taste.

This has sparked concern that if states do not lift the imported onions, the commodity will perish. Onion is a highly perishable item which gets depreciated due to rotting and sprouting by 35 per cent in a week.

The official added that while India imported most of the stock at around $600-700 per MT, the Modi government is offering it to Bangladesh at $550-$580 per MT.

However, Bangladesh argued during the meeting that it already has imports of Chinese onion in the pipeline through Nepal, so India should offer some incentives like free transportation, added the official.

‘We are neighbours’

The development has come nearly three months after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina publicly aired her displeasure about the Modi government’s move to stop export of onions to her country during her four-day visit to India.

“I wish you had informed us before suddenly putting a halt in the export of onions. I had to tell my cook I have no other option but to have my food without onions. I would request India to please inform us beforehand while taking such an action. After all, we are neighbours,” she had said.


Also read: Tackling onion price rise leads to policy distortions, but it seems nothing will change


 

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6 Comments Share Your Views

6 COMMENTS

  1. “I wish you had informed us before suddenly putting a halt in the export of onions. I had to tell my cook I have no other option but to have my food without onions. I would request India to please inform us beforehand while taking such an action. After all, we are neighbours,” she had said.

  2. The prices of onions haven’t yet cooled in many states. Why aren’t the states picking the stocks? Can our journalism be a little bit objective and responsible by publishing the wholesale market prices of onions of various states, find out why they are not picking thr stocks and report without adding your skewed and biased opinion?

  3. I am importer of vegetables from Pakistan.
    We need onions from india unfortunately but they rejected so we have to buy it from china.
    Chinese onions don’t have taste but what we can do our neighbour hindu neighbour have some ego problem.
    They are wasting their things but don’t wana supply to Pakistan.

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