Kathmandu [Nepal], September 29 (ANI): Amid rising prices of onions in the retail market, residents of Kathmandu on Monday afternoon flocked the Food Management and Trading Company (FMTC) to buy onions for Nrs. 60 per kilogram.
The price of onions has skyrocketed after India halted its export that now stands at least Nrs. 120 in the local market per kilogram. The state-owned trading entity is selling the onions that were seized from the black-marketers inside various locations of Kathmandu about two weeks ago.
"Onions were seized from black marketers while conducting raids by District Administration Office which has been handed over to us. A total of one hundred 46 quintals and 59 kilograms of onion are being sold off from here which is on sale since last Friday. We have come to know that the price is comparatively high in the market and we are selling those seized from the market for black-marketing at Nrs. 60 per kilogram fixing quota of three kilograms per person," said Rana Bahadur Budhathoki, Chief of FMTC, Bagmati Province Sales Department.
Fifty-two rupees from sales of onion from the state-owned trading entity will go to the national treasury while the FMTC will take the remaining Nrs. 8 as handling charge in due course of sell-off.
"The price of onion is high in the retail market, we are charged a minimum of 120-130 (Nrs) per kilogram in retail shops but we can get it in 60. The economic condition of people is already weakened due to COVID-19. This low-cost sale of onion brought me up to here," Sher Bahadur Khatri, resident of Dalluwho travelled about 7 kilometres to purchase the onion told ANI.
Over 70 per cent of confiscated onions from unscrupulous traders already have been sold off and the remaining 25 per cent is expected to be purchased by consumers by Tuesday.
Nepal always has been importing onions from India as its own production is not enough to meet the domestic demands. As per the official figures, the Himalayan Nation produced 2,39,000 tons of onions from around 20,000 hectares while it imported 3,10,000 tons from other countries, mostly from India.
Though Chinese onions are in the Nepali market the consumers prefer Southern onion rather than those from the Northern side complaining of the quality.
India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry on September 14 had issued a public notice prohibiting the export of all varieties of onion. (ANI)