New Delhi: Tackling the ongoing crisis over onions, the Union government on Thursday contracted an additional import of 12,660 metric tonnes of onions that are set to arrive in India from 27th December. With this, the total import order has reached nearly 30,000 metric tonnes.

Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan wrote to chief ministers of all states asking them to carry out immediate anti-hoarding operations to ensure that supplies in the market are augmented and stock holding limits are strictly enforced.

The Centre faced immense flak as onion prices reached a skyrocketing limit, with the vegetable being sold for over Rs 150 in several parts across the country. Earlier this month, the government imported 11000 Metric Ton (MT) of onion from Turkey in addition to 6090 MT from Egypt, as prices continued to soar in the Indian market.

Justifying the near-emergency, the central government maintained that the shortage was caused by unseasonal rain and subsequent floods in onion producing states like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Earlier this week, the Centre also revised the permissible stock limits for the commodity with immediate effect, as it was unable to bring down the prices despite several efforts

Responding to a question on when the onion prices would come down, Paswan had said “it’s not in our hands.” However, he had added that the Centre was taking every step possible to contain the price rise of onions.

Notably, the government has completely banned its export, while encouraging more number of imports on the vegetable. Wholesalers and retailers have been imposed under a limit on stock-holding for an indefinite period.