Govt decides to lift ban on onion exports

The government decided to lift the nearly six-month-old ban on export of onions in a bid to protect the interests of farmers as prices are likely to fall sharply due to bumper rabi crop.

Sources said the decision was taken at a meeting of a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister Amit Shah.

"Since the price of onion has stabilised and there is bumper onion crop, government has decided to lift ban on export of onions. Expected monthly harvest in March is over 40 lakh MT compared to 28.4 lakh MT last year," Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said in a tweet.

The lifting of ban would be effective once the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issues a notification in this regard.

The GoM on Wednesday also deliberated on whether to reduce or scrap the Minimum Export Price (MEP) on onion to facilitate outbound shipments, the sources said.

The MEP is the rate below which no exports are allowed.