Mumbai: The State government has refused to accept the imported onions from the Centre as the rates of onion in the local market are slashing due to the excess production.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has dashed a letter to the Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan clarifying that the Maharashtra government is not able to purchase the imported onion for sale in the retail market.
The Central government has imported 1,160 metric tonnes of onion from Egypt and Turkey to control the rising prices of the onion in the local market. The State government in December last year had requested to allot 100 metric tonnes of the stock and was ready to get it.
In respect to that, the State government has initiated a tender process for lifting the stock of imported onion from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and repacking it in a small quantity of 1 kg. The price of the imported onion was Rs 80 per kg.
Meanwhile, it is observed that the imported onion, as well as the local onion, is available in ample quantity in the market, that resulting in a reduction in price in wholesale as well as the retail market.
Considering steadily increasing stock and reduction in prices, the State government decided to withdraw its demand to lift the imported onion.
Food and Civil Supply Minister Chhagan Bhujbal also requested the Consumer Affair Department of the Union government to lift the restriction of stock limits on wholesalers and retailers.
The Union government had imposed the stock limits of 25 metric tonnes for wholesalers and 2 metric tonnes for the retailers.