Starting Monday, the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) will initiate the retail sale of government buffer stock onions in the national capital at a subsidized price of Rs 25 per kg.
This move aims to alleviate consumers from the burden of high kitchen staple costs. The NCCF, already responsible for selling subsidized tomatoes on behalf of the central government, has been tasked with retailing buffer onions.
For the fiscal year 2023-24, the government has amassed a buffer stock of 3 lakh tonnes of onions and plans to procure an additional 2 lakh tonnes this year. Anice Joseph Chandra, the Managing Director of NCCF, stated that the initial sales of buffer onions will occur in Delhi through mobile vans and two retail outlets.
About 10 mobile vans will be deployed in the national capital initially, with more areas to be covered over time. Additionally, the NCCF will make buffer onions available through its two retail outlets situated in Nehru Place and Okhla in Delhi.
The NCCF also has intentions to sell onions online through the ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) platform, with the necessary arrangements currently in progress. The government’s market intervention strategy targets Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, and Assam. The availability of onions in these five states will be improved through the distribution of buffer onions in both wholesale and retail markets.
Buffer onions are being sold at mandi rates in wholesale markets, while in retail markets they are available at a subsidized rate of Rs 25 per kg. The retail sales will commence in Delhi on Monday and will start in the other four states two days later, according to Anice Joseph Chandra.
Official data indicates that the all-India average retail price of onions has risen by 19% to Rs 29.73 per kg on Sunday, compared to Rs 25 per kg in the same period the previous year. In Delhi, the retail price of onions has increased from Rs 28 per kg to Rs 37 per kg during the same timeframe.
NCCF has been successfully selling subsidized tomatoes in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan for the past month. Initially priced at Rs 90 per kg when retail market prices were over Rs 250 per kg, the subsidized rate has now been lowered to Rs 40 per kg due to improved arrivals.
(With PTI inputs)