Potato inflation has broken the record of the last 10 years. According to government data, potatoes sold in October at Rs 39.30 per kg, the highest in the last 130 months. However, potatoes sold even more expensive in Delhi. Potatoes in Delhi sold at the rate of Rs 40.11 per kg during this period, which is the highest since January 2010. This figure is from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Apart from potato, onion prices have also increased rapidly. To control the prices of these two, the central government has decided to import them.
Potato was available at half price in 2019
Talking about last year, potato was being sold at a price of Rs 20.57 per kg in 2019, it is at half compared to this year. Talking about Delhi, last year it was sold at Rs 25 per kg. In the last one year, potatoes have become 60 percent costlier in Delhi. Statistics are available on the portal of the ministry from January 2010.
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Prices increased due to less potato in cold storage
The retail price of potato is usually high between September and November but this year it started getting expensive from February to March. At that time the retail price of potato reached Rs 23 per kg. One reason for the high retail prices of potato is that this time its storage has reduced compared to last year. This time around 36 crore bags (50 kg each bag) were stored in the storage across the country, while 48 crore bags were stored last year and 57 crore bags in 2018 last year. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, this time 214.25 lakh tonnes of potatoes were kept in cold storage as compared to 238.50 lakh potatoes in cold storage in 2018-19 last year. The Ministry of Agriculture had expressed apprehension about low storage that the price of potato may increase after the lockdown ends. India exported 1.23 lakh tonnes of potatoes to Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia between April and August this year.
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30 thousand tons of potatoes will come from Bhutan
According to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, for the last few days, potato has also been stable at the rate of Rs 40 per kg. Soon, 30 thousand tonnes of potatoes are coming from Bhutan. Apart from this, the government has also reduced the duty on it. Earlier, duty of 30 per cent was imposed on potato, which has been reduced to 10 per cent, which has been fixed for 1 million tonnes of stock by 31 January next year.
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Onion prices stable for three days
The central government will import them before the festive season to stop the rising prices of potatoes and onions. The central government will import 30 thousand tons of onions. According to Goyal, the Central Government has already taken necessary steps to bring down their prices, due to which its prices have been stable at an average of Rs 65 per kg across the country for the last three days.
Onion will come from Turkey, Egypt and Afghanistan
Goyal told that 7 thousand tons of onions have already arrived in the market and after that 25 thousand tons can come before Diwali. Onions will be imported from Turkey, Egypt and Afghanistan. However, he said that the government will not be directly involved in the purchase of this import. NAFED for onion import will soon give opportunity to people from states where prices are increasing due to decline in their supply. Nafed has already sold 37 thousand tonnes of onions from its buffer stock in September.
There is a ban on onion exports
He has expressed hope that soon the next crop of onions will come in the market and prices will remain under control. In order to curb the rising price of onion, the central government has fixed its storage limit under the Essential Commodities Act from 23 October. After this decision of the government, the maximum storage limit of 25 tons for wholesaler and 2 ton for retailer was fixed. Apart from this, to stop shortage of onion seeds, its export has also been banned from 29 October. The Union Minister said that after purchasing onions from the mandi, traders have been given three days time for grading and packing.