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Government extends ban on onion exports till further orders

Government extends ban on onion exports till further orders
The government has extended the export ban on onion till further orders to increase domestic availability and keep its prices under check. Earlier, it was prohibited till March 31 this year.

"Export prohibition on export of onions valid till 31st March 2024, is extended until further orders," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has said in a notification dated March 22.

DGFT is an arm of the ministry which deals with exports and imports-related issues.

On December 8, 2023, the government banned export of onions.

In the 2023 rabi season, onion production was estimated to be at 22.7 million tonnes.

The export of onions to friendly countries is allowed on a case-to-case basis after approval from the inter-ministerial group.

The government has permitted exports of 64,400 tonnes of onion to the UAE and Bangladesh through the National Cooperative Exports Ltd (NCEL).

Earlier, the Centre, in October 2023, had decided to step up the sale of buffer onion stock at a subsidised rate of Rs 25 per kg in retail markets in order to provide relief to consumers.

To control prices, the government has earlier taken several steps. It had imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 800 per tonne on onion exports on October 28 till December 31, 2023.

In August, India had imposed a 40 per cent export duty on onions up to December 31, 2023.

Onion is a politically sensitive commodity.

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