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India allows onion export to Sri Lanka and gives additional quota to UAE

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NEW DELHI : India has allowed limited shipments of onions to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sri Lanka, after banning its export in response to rising prices.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, through the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), issued a notification late Monday evening, permitting the export of an additional 10,000 metric tons (MT) of onions to the UAE (above 24,000 tonne already allowed) and 10,000 tonne to Sri Lanka.

In December last year, the government banned onion exports until March 2024. According to a DGFT notification, onion exports were permitted only with prior approval from the central government.

In August, the government imposed a 40 per cent duty on onion export to check price rise and improve supplies in the domestic market. It subsequently set a Minimum Export Price (MEP) of $800 per tonne on a free-on-board basis starting from October 29.

To address the surge in prices, the central government has been releasing onions from its buffer stock. It had previously decided to maintain a buffer stock of 3 lakh tonnes of onions for the year 2023-24, an increase from the 2.51 lakh tonnes held in the previous year.

The Rabi onion, harvested during April-June, constitutes approximately 65 per cent of India’s onion production and meets consumer demand until the Kharif crop is harvested in October-November.

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