In a bid to control the surging onion price, the Indian government on Sunday (September 29) banned the export of onion with “immediate effect” and imposed a stock limit on traders to increase availability of the commodity in the domestic market and provide a relief to consumers.
The move comes in the wake of the rising onion prices that has led to public outcry. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), an arm of the commerce ministry which deals with exports and import related issues in a notification said, “Export of all varieties of onions…is prohibited with immediate effect.”
Retailers can stock onion only up to 100 quintals and wholesale traders are allowed to keep up to 500 quintals, the Consumer Affairs Ministry said adding that the state governments have been directed to take stringent steps to prevent hoarding.
The DGFT on September 13 had imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 850 per tonne to curb its shipments and help bring down rising domestic prices. The MEP is the rate below which no exports are allowed. The reported export below MEP to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be stopped immediately and strict action will be taken against violators, it added.
Although the state governments had been authorised to impose stock limit, but this time the Centre has imposed stock limits directly upon the states across the country. The Centre has directed state governments to enforce stock limits strictly and carry out anti-hoarding operations against the unscrupulous traders by organising raids.
Retail onion prices have touched to ₹60-₹80 per kg in Delhi and some other parts of the country due to supply disruption from flood-affected growing states like Maharasthra. Meanwhile, to give relief to consumers from high prices, the central government is offloading 50,000 tonnes of buffer stock of onion across the country.
The Centre last month had also warned of strict action against hoarding of onion amid supply disruption due to floods in parts of major growing states — Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Similarly, to overcome the prevailing situation, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister, on Friday announced that his government will be providing onions at ₹23.90/kg in Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo flagged off mobile vans on Saturday to supply onions at the promised rate to the Delhiites.
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