India imported 8,041 tonnes of onion in Sep-Nov: K.V. Thomas1 min read . Updated: 09 Dec 2013, 08:12 PM IST
Data shows increase in vegetable inflation was driven mainly by increase in prices of onion and tomato
New Delhi: India imported more than 8,041 tonnes of onion during the period between 1 September and 13 November to contain the rise in the vegetable’s prices, the Parliament was informed on Monday.
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Union food minister K.V. Thomas said 8,041 tonnes of onions were imported during 1 September 1 and 13 November from China, Egypt, Pakistan and Thailand.
In another reply, he added that wholesale price index (WPI) data during the last six months show that the rate of increase in prices of vegetables as a whole increased to 89.37% in September this year from 5.21% in May 2013, but then after it declined to 78.38% in October.
The increase in vegetable inflation was driven mainly by increase in the prices of onions and tomatoes, according to the data. The WPI for onion was -9.1% in October last year, which rose to 278.2% during the same month this year. Similarly in case of tomatoes, WPI was -39% in October last year which jumped to 121.9% in the same month this year.
Thomas in another reply said prices rose due to extended rain in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat for onions and Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka for tomatoes. The increased demand in the festival season also added to the woes. However, onion prices started to come down from the second week of November, on account of increased arrivals from producing states, Thomas added.
Thomas also stated that price rise of vegetables is normally due to several factors such as demand-supply mismatch, increase in cost of inputs, transportation cost, storage problems and the weather conditions.
Informing about the measures taken by government to contain prices of vegetables, Thomas said states have been addressed at intervals to ensure supply of vegetable, national horticulture mission (NHM) is facilitating creating of infrastructure for post-harvest management and marketing.
Elaborating on the steps taken to check price rise of onion, he said that export of onion is calibrated through reimposing minimum export price (MEP), whic is now $1150 per tonne.