Agri Business

Onion exports to be allowed at $600 MEP

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 17, 2011

ONIONS   -  The Hindu

The Government has decided to lift the ban on export of onions after its prices almost crashed in the domestic market, which triggered farmers’ protest.

The decision to this effect was taken today by an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Food headed by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee.

The Government had banned onion exports in the last week of December 2010 to augment domestic supply and contain the rising prices, which had touched Rs 70-80 per kg.

The ministers’ panel, as a precautionary measure against possibility of prices shooting up again, decided to allow onion shipments at a minimum export price (MEP) of $600 (about Rs 28,000) per tonne, a senior government official said after the EGoM meeting.

To dissuade onion exports, the Government had raised the MEP from the previous level of $525 per tonne to $1,200 per tonne. Later the exports were completely banned.

Prior to the ban, India exported 11.58 lakh tonnes of onions mainly to the Gulf countries, Sri Lanka and Malaysia during April-November this fiscal.

The EGoM meeting was attended by the Defence Minister, Mr A.K. Antony, the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, and the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

The Government’s decisive steps against hoarders and arrival of fresh crop reversed the situation within 45-50 days with the prices of onions declining substantially.

Currently, the prices have crashed to Rs 4-12 per kg in the wholesale markets of Nashik, the main onion growing area, which led to agitation by farmers who demanded lifting the ban on exports.

Published on February 17, 2011

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