Govt lifts onion export ban, imposes 40 percent export duty, fixed MEP of USD 550 ton

The Centre has lifted the ban on onion exports but imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 550 per tonne.

Govt lifts onion export ban, imposes 40 percent export duty, fixed MEP of USD 550 ton

The central government has decided to lift the ban on onion exports in the midst of the Lok Sabha elections. But it has also imposed two strict conditions. Onion exports will not be at a rate less than $550 per tonne and 40 percent export duty will be applicable on exports.

According to the notification issued by DGFT, MEP (minimum export price) of $550 per tonne will be applicable on onion exports. No exporter will export onions at a price lower than this. Earlier on Friday, the central government had also issued an order to impose 40 percent export duty on onions. With these two conditions, onion exports will not be possible at a price less than about Rs 60 per kilogram.

It has been decided to lift the ban on onion exports especially due to  the resentment of onion farmers of Maharashtra. Due to the ban on exports for the last five months, onion producers and traders have suffered huge losses. This has become a big political issue in Maharashtra. The BJP and its allies in the onion belt of Maharashtra may have to bear the brunt of this. Removing the ban on onion export will provide relief to farmers and traders, but at the same time questions will be raised about the two conditions imposed. Onion is a big issue in at least a dozen seats of Maharashtra.

The central government had banned onion export on 8 December, 2023 to control onion prices the domestic market. After this, on March 22, this ban was extended indefinitely. Recently, the central government had approved the export of 2000 tonnes of white onion mainly grown in Gujarat, due to which there was a lot of resentment in Maharashtra. Ultimately the government had to take a decision to lift the ban on onion export.

Meanwhile, recently government issued a press rlease, which said that  99,150 tonne onion was exported to six countries, which turned out to be an old announcements. Regarding this, the leaders of Maharashtra had accused the BJP of misleading the farmers.

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