Onion export ban to continue till Mar 31: Govt

New Delhi: The ban on export of onion will continue till its previously announced deadline of March 31 as the government is keen to keep prices under check and ensure domestic availability, a top official said on Tuesday.

On December 8, 2023, the government had banned export of onion till March 31.

“Ban on onion exports has not been lifted. It is in force and there is no change in the status,” Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh told PTI.

The government’s supreme priority is to ensure enough domestic availability of onion at reasonable prices to consumers, he added.

On reports of lifting of the export ban on the commodity, the modal wholesale onion prices shot up 40.62 per cent to Rs 1,800 per quintal on February 19 in Lasalgoan, the country’s largest wholesale onion market, from Rs 1,280 per quintal on February 17.

Ahead of general elections, the ban is unlikely to be lifted even after March 31 as rabi (winter) onion production is expected to be lower due to less coverage of area especially in Maharasthra, sources said.

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

The Agriculture Ministry officials will assess the rabi onion coverage in key growing states of Maharsthra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the export of onion to friendly countries is allowed on a case-to-case basis after approval from the inter-ministerial group. (PTI)

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