With an increase in onion prices in the country, the central government has banned its export, which is expected to bring the prices of the staple down.
Onion exports from the country had increased considerably during the coronavirus pandemic, due to which domestic prices increased and supply decreased within the country.
At present, the retail price of onions is above Rs 40 per kg in Delhi and neighbouring areas. On Monday, onion prices at the Azadpur wholesale market ranged from Rs 13.75 to Rs 27.5 per kg.
According to a notification issued on Monday by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the export of all varieties of onions has been banned with immediate effect. The notification said that provisions of transitional agreements will not apply under this notification.
Market experts say that onion exports from April to July 2020 went up by nearly 30 per cent compared with the previous year. Onion prices may witness another hike as heavy rains across south India have damaged standing onion crop.
Rajendra Sharma, General Secretary, Azadpur Mandi Potato Onion Merchant Association (POMA), said that the export ban was a good decision to put an end to increasing onion prices. Due to crop failure in south India, there is shortage of onion supplies and hence the Union government should focus on import as well, Sharma added.
During the festive season last year, onion prices had skyrocketed. In different parts of the country, including Delhi, onions were sold at Rs 150 per kg. This forced the government to adopt various measures, including the decision to import onions from abroad as well as export restrictions.