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The Centre on Sunday said that the prices of onion, tomato and potato were cheaper than last year. The Department of Consumer Affairs informed that it has taken up calibrated and targeted release of onions from the buffer on First-in-First-Out (FIFO) principle commenced from August guided by the twin objectives of moderating prices and ensuring minimal storage loss.

"As a result of which the retail price of Onion in Delhi is viz 44 kg as on 14.10.2021. Similarly in Mumbai, Kolkatta and Chennai are 45 kg, 57 kg and 42 kg respectively. The All India retail prices of Onion on 14.10.2021 is 37.06 per kg while the All India wholesale price of Onion is 3002.25 per quintal," the statement said.

The department further said that the releases are targeted towards States/UTs where prices ruled above the all-India average and also where prices are on rising over the previous month. Till 12th October, a total of 67,357 MT has been released in major markets such as Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kochi and Raipur, it added.

In addition, Grade-B onions (stocks which are below the Fair Average Quality - FAQ) are disposed in local markets in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

Apart from releasing in the market, the Department of Consumer Affairs has offered onions from the buffer at Rs.21/kg to all the States and UTs for lifting from the storage locations.

This would enable States/UTs to take up, by themselves, market interventions either through direct supply to retail consumers through retail outlets or release in key markets to bring down prices.

The stocks are also available for supply to Central/States agencies involved in retail marketing either at ex-storage rate of Rs.21/kg or at landed price after including transportation costs. SAFAL has been offered at landed price of Rs.26/kg, the department said.

Onion buffer has been maintained by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) with the objective of effective market intervention to moderate prices.

In 2021-22, against the target of building 2 LMT onion buffer a total of 2.08 LMT was procured from Rabi-2021 crop during April to July, 2021. Similarly efforts are being made to soften the prices of potato and tomato. The retail price of potato and tomato in Delhi are 20 and 56 kg respectively. The All India Retail price of Potato and Tomato are 21.22 kg and 41.73 kg respectively.

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