With the prices of onions soaring in many parts of the country due to crop damage, the central government has directed the State-owned MMTC to take steps to import 1 lakh tonnes of the bulb.

In a letter written to MMTC CMD Ved Prakash on Saturday, Awadesh Kumar Choudhary, Economic Adviser in the Department of Consumer Affairs, asked the PSU to make the imported onions available for distribution between November 15 and December 15.

The price and availability of onions are being periodically reviewed at the meetings of Inter-Ministerial Committee and Committee of secretaries and changes will be made accordingly, the letter said.

Also read: Centre to import 1 lakh tonnes onion to check price rise: Paswan

Another State-run firm, Nafed, would be responsible for receiving the imported onions and it will distribute them domestically.

A high level meeting convened by Cabinet Secretary last week decided to send officials to countries such Egypt and Turkey to explore the possibility of expeditiously imported the vegetable to India. Another team of officials has been asked to visit Dubai to some stock of onions immediately.

Maharashtra, the State where maximum onions are produced on India, recently informed the Centre that 50 per cent of crop was destroyed due to heavy rains and floods that ravaged many parts of the State.