The Delhi government on Sunday termed “false and misleading” reports that it sold subsidised onions at a much higher rate than at which it was procured.
An RTI activist had claimed that while the government purchased the kitchen staple at Rs18 a kg, it sold onion at Rs40 a kg.
A government spokesperson, however, rubbished the claim as malicious.
The Delhi government procured the onions from the Small Farmers, Agri Business Consortium (SFAC), an agency of the Central government under the Union agriculture ministry, the spokesperson said.
“Government of Delhi has in its possession the correspondence made by SFAC regarding modalities, mechanisms and distribution of onions for making it available to the public of Delhi at affordable prices in the midst of spiraling market prices of onions. SFAC has clearly indicated the average cost of onions will be Rs32.86 a kg that was needed to be borne by the Delhi government from the time of its procurement in the mandis of Nasik, till their receipt in the godowns in Delhi,” the spokesperson said.
Thereafter, the costs of transportation till the sale outlets, loading and unloading charges, margin money to be provided to the retail outlet owners, etc, was to be added. This entire process cost Delhi government around Rs40 a kg. The government provided onions to the people strictly on a no-profit basis, the spokesperson clarified.
“When it was observed that prices continued to soar in the open market, the Delhi government decided to provide a subsidy of Rs10 a kg and brought down the onion price to Rs30 a kg. At this juncture, Delhi government had also written to the Maharashtra government to prevent onion hoarding at Nasik,” the spokesperson added.
Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said it was really strange that the Delhi government was denying a “factual report on Onion scam” based on an RTI reply.