Onion, potato prices stabilising: Piyush Goyal
Food, public distribution and consumer affairs minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said prices of essential commodities, such as onion and potatoes, had started stabilising in the country and quick imports would help to keep rates from rising during the rest of the festive season.
Addressing a virtual press conference, the minister also said procurement of paddy had clocked a record 24% increase till October 29 over last year, along with an expansion of procurement across major paddy growing states.
“At an all-India level, average retail prices of onions have stabilised at around Rs65 a kg. On Oct 27, the average retail price was Rs65.95 a kg, on Oct 28, it was Rs66.34 a kg and Rs65.88 a kg on Oct 29,” the minister said.
The minister said that 7,000 tonne of imported onion had already arrived. “These imports by private traders have arrived from various countries such as Egypt and Afghanistan. Another 25,000 tonne are due to arrive before Diwali,” Goyal said.
For the past three days, the all-India average retail prices of potatoes have stabilised at around Rs42, the minister said, adding that 30,000 tonne of potatoes would arrive from Bhutan soon.
“Rains in October you know had damaged crops in many growing states. The meteorological department had given advance warning to us because of which we took early proactive steps,” Goyal said.
The government had on Sept 14 banned export of onions. To help quicker imports, the government on October 21 also relaxed fumigation norms for onions. The directorate general of foreign trade is facilitating private traders to speed up imports by clearing licences, the minister said.