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Govt to impose $700-800/tonne MEP on onion to curb exports

Govt to impose $700-800/tonne MEP on onion to curb exports

Govt to impose $700-800/tonne MEP on onion to curb exports

NEW DELHI: The Centre is mulling over re- imposing a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 700-800 per tonne on onion to curb exports and check local prices, a Government source said.

MEP is the minimum rate below which export is not allowed. Onion MEP was scrapped in December 2015. In a meeting called by the Commerce Ministry, the MEP issue was discussed in detail with exporters and other stakeholders besides officials of Consumer Affairs Ministry.

"In the meeting, it has been decided to impose the MEP to restrict onion exports and control spiralling domestic prices," the Government source.

The export floor price has not yet been decided. It could be between USD 700 and USD 800 per tonne. A final notification in this regard will be issued soon, the source added.

Supplies got exhausted as large quantity of exports were undertaken in the first four months of this fiscal. The Country exported 12.29 lakh tonnes in April-July of this fiscal, up by 56 per cent from the year-ago period.

MMTC To Import 2,000 Tonnes Onion To Check Prices

State-run MMTC will import 2,000 tonnes of onion, while Nafed and SFAC will buy 12,000 tonnes locally in order to boost supplies and check prices, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.

He said that his ministry has again written to the commerce ministry to reimpose export floor price of USD 700 per tonne on onion to discourage outbound shipments.

Onion prices in most retail markets have skyrocketed to Rs 50-65 per kg due to tight supply.

"We have asked Nafed (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India) to procure 10,000 tonnes and SFAC (Small Farmers Agriculture-business Consortium) about 2,000 tonnes directly from farmers and sell in consuming areas. We have also asked the MMTC to import 2,000 tonnes," Paswan told reporters.

Onion prices have been under pressure since August, but they have now touched high level that the government is trying all means to improve the availability and control prices.

While the private traders have imported 11,400 tonnes in the last few months, now the government agency MMTC will soon float tenders to import 2,000 tonnes in two tranches.

To discourage exports, Paswan said that he has recommended the commerce ministry to reimpose minimum export price (MEP) on onion, which was scrapped in December 2015.

Meanwhile, the commerce ministry is mulling over imposing MEP of USD 700-800 a tonne. It has already taken the opinion of exporters and other stakeholders on the matter.

The country has resorted to import of onion as the old crop has got exhausted and the new kharif crop, which is being harvested, is expected to be lower.

The new kharif crop is likely to be lower by 10 per cent as area sown is less by 30 per cent. The production assessment will be known once the harvesting completes, a senior consumer affairs ministry official said.

It may be noted that 40 per cent of the country's total onion crop is produced in the kharif season, and the rest during the rabi season. The kharif crop, however, cannot be stored.

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat are major onion-producing states.

Source:- Outlookindia.com

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