Indian Congress Party president urges govt to revoke ban on onion export | The Daily Star
03:47 PM, September 15, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:50 PM, September 15, 2020

Indian Congress Party president urges govt to revoke ban on onion export

Senior Indian politician and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar today urged the Indian government to revoke the ban imposed on onion exports.

In a series of Twitter posts, Pawar said he has discussed the issue with India's Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, and urged him to rethink the decision.

"The ban jeopardises India's export share in the onion markets of Gulf countries, (as well as) Sri Lanka and Bangladesh," Pawar, whose party is part of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra state, said in a tweet.

It could allow other countries like Pakistan to displace India, he said.

"The central government has abruptly announced a ban on onion exports. There was a strong reaction in the onion growing belt in Maharashtra and the people's representatives of various political parties contacted me last night and requested that I inform the central government about their reaction... I urge Piyush Goyalji to rethink this decision of banning export of onion," he said in the tweets.

India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) yesterday announced the ban on onion export with immediate effect.

At Lasalgaon market in Maharashtra, the biggest onion wholesale market in Asia, the price of onion doubled between March and September from Rs 20 to Rs 40 per kg.

In retail markets across India, the price of onions has risen from Rs 20 to Rs 35-40 per kg at present.

All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Ajit Navale said the ban "not only deceives onion growers from Maharashtra but across the country."

"Farmers are angry with this decision and have decided to protest by coming out on roads," he said, and alleged the export ban decision was taken because of the coming Bihar assembly elections as high onion prices are undesirable for any government seeking re-election.

The supply disruption of onions, caused by heavy rains and floods in major growing states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, is likely to continue until the next new crop hits the market in November.

The onion export ban came three months after the Indian government amended the Essential Commodities Act of 1955 to impose curbs on the movement of food grains, potatoes, onions and other essential commodities -- applicable only in extreme conditions, such as war and natural calamity.

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