The delegation has demanded that the state government allow increase in export quantities, compensate onion producers or buy additional onions to stop heavy losses to farmers.
Onion price, which had touched the record Rs 57 per kg in August at Lasalgoan, showed a declining trend after the Centre took several steps including hike in minimum export price and imports to boost domestic supply. It fell as low as Rs 25 per kg on October 16 at Lasalgaon.
Both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are dolling out onions at a subsidized cost of just Rs 20 per kilogram through state owned outlets
Prices have hit 100 taka (USD 1.29) per kg in Bangladesh and 80 rupees (USD 1.2) in India as scant monsoon rain delays plantings. In 2013, prices hit around 100 rupees in India, leading to protests across cities and making it a political issue.
"NAFED could not issue a global e-tender for import of 10,000 tonnes of onions. So, we have asked MMTC to import same quantity of onions as early as possible," a senior Agriculture Ministry official told agency.
With onion prices rising up to Rs 40 per kg in the national capital, the government has ordered to import 10,000 tonnes of the kitchen staple form countries including Pakistan, China, Egypt.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The validity of the order that empowers states to impose stock limits on traders for holding onion and ban hoarding beyond the set limit, expires tomorrow - July 2.
The price of onions â€“ a staple of Indian cooking â€“ has risen around 320 percent over the past 12 months, driven by a combination of factors including a supply shortage after excessive rains hit crop output as well as poor infrastructure for the storage and distribution of produce.
Indians eat their way through 15 million tonnes of onions a year, using them as the base for curries and traditional dishes such as biryani and bhaji. In the past, higher onion prices have contributed to the fall of state governments.
"In vegetable like onion, tomato and potato, there is period of plenty and there is situation of scarcity. We need to balance with more use of cold storage and warehousing facilities," Thomas said.
Chairman of the PMEAC, C Rangarajan, said, "There can always be a temporary increase in inflation. But once the availability increases, it is expected that supply will get augmented in coming weeks and then it will come down."
Ahluwalia says the government recognises that coal block allocation decisions are bound to be subject to questioning and hence must be auctioned.
According to NHRDF data, arrivals of onion at Bangalore wholesale market has increased by 50 per cent to 76,266 quintals today from the last week's level.
CNBC-TV18's Executive Editor Latha Venkatesh explains the impact of a hike in the wholesale price index (WPI) inflation on the economy and the market.
Onion auctions at Lasalgaon market resumed on Thursday after an "amicable understanding" was reached between traders and APMC office bearers.
In more bad news, onion prices in various parts of the country have shot back up to Rs 70 and Rs 80 per kg. There has been a Rs 10 jump in prices in less than 24 hours.
Amid concerns over rising cost of onions and other essential commodities, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said unless supply side constraints are addressed consumer price inflation is not likely to fall.
The average wholesale price of onion has more than doubled since the beginning of this month. It's selling between Rs 70 and Rs 80 rupees per kg.
In a fallout of the anti-Telangana agitation rocking Andhra Pradesh, price of tomato has crashed here as the produce from villages bordering Tamil Nadu are being diverted to the city.
Onion prices in India surged by a third on Monday to hit a record high on a supply squeeze due to last year's drought in key growing areas, and as this year's crop was damaged in some southern and northern states due to heavy rainfall.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that he was not in favour of a ban on export of onion. He felt that such a move will impact India's image as a global supplier of farm produce.
No immediate change in prices of onion was noticed today, a day after the government lifted ban on export of the bulb even as markets opened in Nashik after nearly two-weeks of farmers strike.
Onion prices have gone up 43% in a year and potato is costing over 20% more, but the government has said it will take "some time" before prices of the kitchen staples decline.
With prices of onion showing a rising trend, the government has directed cooperatives-- Nafed and NCCF-- to sell the kitchen staple at a subsidised rate of Rs 20 per kg from their outlets in the national capital.
The onion traders lobby has forced the Central Government to lift the ban on exporting onions. The Group of Ministers on Food met in New Delhi on Thursday and decided to lift the ban on onion exports. The rate of exporting onions has been fixed at $600 per tonne.