New Delhi: State-owned MMTC has floated a global tender for import of 2,000 tonnes of onions, a senior consumer affairs ministry official said on Tuesday.

The onion imports are aimed at boosting the local availability and curbing prices, which at present are ruling as high as Rs80 per kg in the national capital.

“MMTC has issued a tender for onion imports. We expect this will help control the prices," the official told PTI. The government trading agency will import onions in two tranches.

Meanwhile, cooperative Nafed has started procuring onions directly from farmers for distribution in consuming areas. It has been asked to buy about 10,000 tonnes of onions.

Another agency SFAC has been directed to buy 2,000 tonnes of onions, which will start soon, the official added.

Onion prices have skyrocketed in most parts of the country owing to supply constraints following a likely drop in the 2017-18 kharif output.

The government has taken several steps to boost onion availability, including restrictions on exports and stock holding limits on local traders to check hoarding.

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