Now, India imposes export duty on onions to stabilize domestic prices


The Indian government on Saturday imposed a 40% duty on the export of onions to check domestic price rise and improve supplies till December 31, 2023.

India had earlier banned the export of non-Basmati white rice on July 20 by amending rice export norms and putting non-basmati white rice in “prohibited+” category. The export policy relating to non-basmati white rice (Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed: Other) has been revised from “free” to “prohibited” and it has come into force immediately, a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification said.

The Finance Ministry on Saturday issued a notification stating that it has imposed a 40% export duty on onions till December 31, 2023. “Government imposes 40 per cent duty on onion exports till December 31,” the Ministry stated.

The export duty comes amid reports that onion prices are likely to rise in September.

Earlier on August 11, the Central government started releasing the staple vegetable from its buffer stock.
The Central government had earlier decided it will maintain 3 lakh tonne of onions in the 2023-24 season as buffer stock. In 2022-23, the government maintained 2.51 lakh tonne onion as buffer stock.

Buffer stock is maintained to meet any exigencies and for price stabilisation, if rates go up significantly during the lean supply season.

Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary Food and Public Distribution Department in a meeting on Thursday with the Managing Directors of the government’s agricultural marketing agencies — National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF) — finalized the modalities for disposal.

“It was decided to release the onion stocks by targeting key markets in states or regions where retail prices are ruling above the all-India average and also where the rates of increase in prices over the previous month and year are above the threshold level. Disposal through e-auction and retail sales on e-commerce platforms are also being explored,” a food ministry release said Friday.

Rabi onion harvested during April-June accounts for 65% of India’s onion production and meets the consumer’s demand till the Kharif crop is harvested in October-November.

The procured stocks are usually released through targeted open market sales and also to states and Union territories and government agencies for supplies through retail outlets during the lean supply season.

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