New Delhi: With the onion price refusing to come down in the wake of its shortage in supply across the country, the Central government on Thursday contracted an additional 12,500 MT of onions from Turkey. With this, the total contract for import of onion is 42,500 MT, out of which 12,000 MT will arrive in the country before December 31.

The development comes after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week stated that the government will import an additional 12,660 metric tonnes of onions which shall begin arriving in the country from December 27 onwards.

In the wake of the price rise of onion, the department of Consumer Affairs has directed state-run trading firm MMTC to issue fresh tenders for additional 15,000 metric tonnes of onions, three new tenders of 5000 metric tonnes.

The development cokes after the government on December 9 revised the stockholding limits on retailers from 5 metric tonnes to 2 metric tonnes. The stock limits were only revised for retailers and for wholesalers it was kept unchanged at 25 metric tonnes. Importers continue to remain exempted from these stock limits for imported onions.

Recently, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had written to all Chief Ministers of the states to carry out anti-hoarding operations to ensure the supplies in the markets are augmented and stock holding limits are strictly enforced.

In many places across the country, the kitchen vegetable is available in not less than Rs 190 per kg. The situation has become so much that many restaurants in places like Goa and Karnataka have removed dishes from their menu which involves onion.