Though the government stopped subsidised sale of onions in the national capital from Tuesday, with the softening of the kitchen staple prices, it said it is not in a hurry to lift the ban on export of the veggie.
"Though the price of the onion has eased...but we have not reached the stage to restart export of the vegetable... we are not in any hurry," Food minister K V Thomas told PTI.
With soaring of rates of onions, that created a hue and cry across the country, the government had first decided to suspend export of the vegetable till mid January, but later clamped an indefinite ban.
The minister of state with independent charge for Food and Consumer Affairs said there was no need now for further contracting onion from other countries. "Only previous contracted onions are imported now...there is no no need for further shipment of the vegetable as the domestic supply of the crop has increased now," the minister said.
At the height of onion crisis around December 20-21 last year, when the price of the bulb had peaked to Rs 70-85 a kg in the national capital, the government in crisis management mode had ordered imports of the veggie to boost domestic availability.
Accordingly, state run agencies PEC and STC had contracted 1,000 tonnes of onions from Pakistan in the first week of January. The onions from the neighbouring country landed at Mundra port in Gujarat in phases, from where it was ferried to Delhi by roads.
With softening of onion prices to Rs 25-30/kg, the government on Monday decided to discontinue subsidised sale of the essential commodity through cooperatives like Mother Dairy, Nafed, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar. The government was giving 30% subsidy to cooperatives for vending onions at lower rates.