Centre Bans Exports of Onions; Pawar Asks Goyal to ‘Reconsider’

This includes all varieties including ‘Bangalore Rose’ onions and ‘Krishnapuram’ onions.

2 min read
 Image used for representation purpose.

The Centre on Monday, 14 September, decided to stop the export of onions with immediate effect.

"The export of all varieties of onions... is prohibited, with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification in this regard.

“The provisions under ‘Transitional Arrangement’ shall not be applicable under this notification.” 
Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

In the revised policy, export of all varieties including 'Bangalore Rose' onions and 'Krishnapuram' onions – excluding cut, sliced, and powdered onions – have been prohibited.

According to official trade data, India exported US $328 million worth of fresh onions and US$ 112 million worth of dried onions in 2019-20, according to a report by Hindustan Times.


‘Move Will Benefit Pak, Others’: Pawar

NCP supremo and Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra Sharad Pawar took to Twitter to say that he urged Union Minister Piyush Goyal to reconsider the ban, since it will benefit other nations and affect the onion producers of Maharashtra.

Pawar said that he discussed the matter with Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.

“I apprised him of the plight of onion growers. I pointed out to him that these onion growers are mainly small land holders and Jirait farmers,” Pawar tweeted.

“I also emphasised on the fact that Pakistan and other onion exporters will benefit immensely from this situation. In view of all this, I urged Piyush Goyal ji to reconsider the ban on onion exports,” he added.

Pawar said that onions are in good demand internationally and a sudden decision to this effect by the central government is a major blow to India's image as a reliable exporter of onions in the international market.

“Following the above request, Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal said that the ban on onion exports was proposed by the Union Ministry of Consumer Protection on the basis of rising onion prices in the market,” Pawar said.

“He ensured me that he we will reconsider the ban in consultation with the Union Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Consumer Protection,” he added.

In September 2019, the government banned onion exports and also imposed a MEP of USD 850 per tonne. The move came after prices started skyrocketing due to supply-demand mismatch.

Hindustan Times reported that in December 2019, prices soared to Rs 80 per kg in Delhi. Eventually, the government said it would allow export of onions from 15 March in the interest of farmers.

Lower food prices pulled down India's August retail inflation to 6.69 percent from 6.73 percent in July, official data showed on 14 September, a report by IANS said. The data furnished by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed that India's consumer food price index during the month under review eased a bit to 9.05 percent against 9.27 percent reported for July 2020.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times and IANS.)

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