Amid rising tensions along the Line of Control (LoC), the Indian government has short-listed Pakistan among the countries from where it plans to import onions in order to tide over the shortage of the staple. India on Wednesday settled on the import option, identifying, besides Pakistan, China, Iran and Egypt to source onions and help ease the domestic supply shortage.
The public-sector agriculture marketing company NAFED – National Agriculture Co-operative Marketing Federation of India will import onion “at best rates and offer the same for domestic consumption in the country”. At present, onion price is the cheapest in Iran followed by China, Egypt and Pakistan, a government source said. The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting on Wednesday.
Officials said strict quarantine rules, which acted as an obstacle to onion imports from China and other countries, would be eased to enable the entry of the staple. On Wednesday, onion prices in select cities including Delhi, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Patna were hovering around Rs 70-Rs 80. In Mumbai and Chennai, it was marginally less at between Rs 60 and Rs 70.