Ahead of polling in Maharashtra, govt lifts onion export ban : The Tribune India

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Ahead of polling in Maharashtra, govt lifts onion export ban

Lasalgaon in Nashik is the biggest wholesale onion market in India

Ahead of polling in Maharashtra, govt lifts onion export ban

In a move that would ease the financial strain on farmers, the Union government on Saturday lifted the ban on onion exports subject to a minimum export price of USD 550 a tonne. - File photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4

In a move that would ease the financial strain on farmers, the Union government on Saturday lifted the ban on onion exports subject to a minimum export price of USD 550 a tonne.

The decision comes just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in key onion producing areas, including Maharashtra.

Hours after the ban was lifted, onion prices in Nashik’s Lasalgaon market shot up by an average Rs 200 per quintal. The Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) is the top wholesale onion market in India.

Earlier today, the government, while lifting the export ban, imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 550 per tonne and 40 per cent export duty. Sources said taking duty into account, shipments will not be allowed below USD 770 per tonne, which translates into roughly Rs 64 per kg.

The government had enforced onion export ban on December 8, 2023, to rein in soaring retail prices. The price surge stemmed from fears of a potential drop in production.

Consumer Affairs Secretary Nidhi Khare addressed the press today saying the move would not lead to any price rise in retail markets.

“Prices will remain stable. If at all there is any increase, it should be very marginal,” she said. Khare said the government was committed to protecting the interests of both consumers and farmers.

In a separate notification today, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said, “The export policy of onions is amended from prohibited to free subject to MEP of USD 550 per metric tonne with immediate effect and until further orders.” Onion export ban relaxation comes on the eve of parliamentary polls in onion producing areas such as Nashik, Ahmednagar and Solapur in Maharashtra.

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