Agri Business

Pawar makes strong case for bringing down onion MEP

| Updated on: Feb 23, 2011
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Making a strong case for bringing down the $600 a tonne export benchmark price for Indian onions which has made them uncompetitive, the Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, today said the minimum export price is double the prevailing rate in international markets.

“I have enquired from the states from where onions are exported to different countries and got information that the prevailing international export price is around $250-300, but our MEP at $600 a tonne, is almost double,” Mr Pawar told presspersons here.

“This (higher MEP) will create obstacles in exporting onions from India,” Mr Pawar said on the sidelines of an agriculture function.

“I think it is a fit case for giving a second thought to bring down MEP to make Indian onions internationally competitive,” he said.

Mr Pawar expressed confidence that the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) meeting this week will give serious thought to the issue (of lowering MEP).

The Government had, last week, decided to lift ban on exports of onions following farmers’ protest over crash in domestic prices within two months of touching Rs 80 a kg.

The decision to this effect on February 17 last was taken at the meeting of EGoM on food, headed by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee.

But, as a precautionary measure against possibility of prices shooting again, the EGoM decided to allow shipments of onions at a MEP of $600 (about Rs 28,000) a tonne.

Published on February 23, 2011

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