onion, export, ban, price hike
Export of onions was banned by central government on Sunday

The government has banned export of onions on Sunday to curb the rising prices across the country, banning all varieties of onions with immediate effect.

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the commerce ministry, said in a notification:

“Export policy of onion for the item description at Serial Number 51 & 52 of Chapter 7 of Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) classification of Export and Import Items is amended from free to prohibited till further orders.”

Earlier this week, the retail prices of onions spiked to Rs 70-Rs 80 per kg, while the wholesale market prices too shot up to Rs 40-Rs 50 per kg — a hike of Rs 10-Rs 20 per kg from a month ago. The situation is in dark contrast with the prices six months back at Rs 12-Rs 15 in the wholesale market.

The present wholesale rate of Rs 4,000 per quintal is the best onions have seen in the last four years.

On September 13, the DGFT had imposed a minimum export price of $850 per tonne to restrict its export and help lower the rising domestic prices.

The present hike is a result of the last year’s drought and the delayed monsoon this year. Some onion growing areas witnessed heavy rains and thus the harvest period has been delayed by a week or so.

According to data of the Price Monitoring Cell of the Consumer Affairs department, the retail price of onion has grown by Rs 20-Rs 25 per kilo in the last six months.

At present, onion prices in Delhi are set at Rs 57 per kg and in Mumbai Rs 56 per kg, while in Pune it is Rs 55 per kg.

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