In an effort to counter the adverse effects of soaring food inflation on consumers’ budgets, the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF) is set to launch a significant initiative. Starting Monday, the NCCF will facilitate the sale of onions at a subsidized rate of ₹25 per kilogram in the city of Delhi.
According to a press release issued by the government on Sunday, this move will mark the beginning of an escalated retail distribution of onions. The strategy entails the collaboration of various agencies and e-commerce platforms in the forthcoming days.
The press release underscored that the distribution of onions from the buffer will extend beyond major markets. This distribution will be executed through both retail outlets and mobile vans operated by the NCCF, commencing on Monday, August 21, 2023.
Remarkably, the government has decided to augment the quantum of onion buffer stock to a substantial 5 lakh metric tonnes for the current year. This decision follows the successful achievement of the initial procurement target, which amounted to 3 lakh metric tonnes.
As per directives from the Department of Consumer Affairs, the NCCF and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will collectively procure an additional 1.00 lakh tonnes to meet the extended procurement objective. Simultaneously, a calculated disposition of the procured stocks in major consumption hubs will be executed, as outlined in the official statement.
The press release also confirmed that the process of disposing of onion buffer stocks has already commenced. This disposal strategy specifically targets states and union territories where retail prices either surpass the national average or have significantly escalated from the previous month.
It’s noteworthy that the buffer has already dispatched approximately 1,400 metric tonnes of onions to the identified markets. This ongoing release is intended to bolster the availability of onions in these areas.
The comprehensive approach adopted by the central government encompasses various measures concerning onions, including their procurement for the buffer. These multifaceted measures encompass stock release targets and the imposition of export duties. This holistic approach is designed not only to benefit farmers but also to alleviate consumer concerns by ensuring consistent availability at affordable price points.