Eye on Lok Sabha polls? Centre lifts 5-month ban on onion exports

NASHIK: Bringing much-needed relief to onion cultivators, specially across Maharashtra, Centre allowed the export of nearly one lakh tonnes of the kitchen staple, mainly sourced from Maharashtra, to six neighbouring countries – Bangladesh, Sri lanka, Bhutan, Bahrain, Mauritius, and the UAE. Centre has also permitted the export of another 2,000 tonnes of white onions cultivated specifically for export markets in the Middle East and some European countries.
Ministry of consumer affairs said in a statement that National Cooperative Exports Ltd (NCEL), the agency for onion exports to these countries, sourced the domestic produce through an e-platform at L1 (lowest quoted) prices.NCEL has supplied to the agency/agencies nominated by govt of the destination country at the negotiated rate on a 100% advance payment basis.
On Dec 8 last year, Centre had banned export of onions to ensure adequate domestic availability, against the backdrop of estimated lower kharif and rabi crops in 2023-24 and increased demand in the international market.
Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis turned to social media platform X to thank PM Modi for allowing the exports. He told reporters on Saturday that the opposition, which was unhappy with Centre’s decision, “have now lost an issue to attack the BJP-led central govt. Farmers’ issues were never a priority for the opposition”.
Union minister and BJP nominee from Dindori, Bharati Pawar said onion farmers heaved a sigh of relief with the announcement. Pawar, who had been criticised by onion farmers in Dindori over the export ban, said “I believe this is a fresh move by govt to provide relief to farmers.” Dindori has a significant number of voters who are onion cultivators.
Nashik BJP functionaries admitted that Centre’s announcement has come as a huge relief for the party in Dindori constituency. “This will help us woo onion farmers, who were a disgruntled lot after the ban was imposed. It had given an advantage to NCP (SCP) nominee Bhaskar Bhagare. We are now confident that things will improve for BJP in the constituency,” a BJP functionary said.
A section of onion traders, however, felt that the quantum allowed for export was “too less”. Vikas Singh, an onion exporter, said, “About 48,000 tonnes of onion are exported from Nashik every month. There are other districts in Maharashtra like Ahmednagar from where a lesser amount is exported. I am not hopeful that allowing such a small quantum of export will help in improving wholesale prices at APMCs.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *