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Domestic Trade Ministry: Hike in price of Indian onions unavoidable due to monsoon, floods

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A worker packs onion bags at a vegetable and fruit wholesale market in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh July 9, 2014. — Reuters pic
A worker packs onion bags at a vegetable and fruit wholesale market in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh July 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

BATU PAHAT, Nov 21 — The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) said that a hike in the price of onions from India cannot be avoided due to reduced import as a result of the monsoon and flood disasters in the republic.

KPDNHEP deputy Minister Datuk Rosol Wahid said, nevertheless, consumers could seek alternatives by opting for onions from several countries such as Thailand, Pakistan, China, Netherlands, Myanmar and Indonesia.

Currently, he said only the price of onions from India went up drastically but the supplies of onions from other countries were adequate and were offered at the same prices as previously.

“However, I find local consumers prefer the onions from India compared to those imported from other countries,” he told a media conference after visiting the Teo Seng Capital Berhad egg factory in Yong Peng, near here, today.

Also present were KPDNHEP deputy secretary-general (Consumer Empowerment) Mohamed Zahari Razali and Leong Hup International Berhad Group executive director Tan Sri Lau Tuang Nguang.

Rosol said those consumers who were using Indian onions must exercise patience and fall back on unions from other countries first.

“KPDNHEP will continue to seek and obtain alternative sources of onion from other onion exporting countries to meet the demand of consumers in the country,” he said.

In the meantime, KPDNHEP also gave its assurance that the food supply was adequate currently and permitted wholesalers to store 30 per cent more than the normal quota fixed by the ministry for the monsoon season which had just started.

“It is aimed at ensuring that the people will not run out of food items during the monsoon season and also Recovery movement control order (RMCO) and conditional movement control order (CMCO) in several states, currently,” he added. — Bernama

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