Government today imposed a 40 percent duty on export of onions to control price rise and improve supplies in the domestic market. The Finance Ministry in a notification imposed the export duty till 31st December this year. The Ministry said, the duty is applicable immediately.
Earlier, the Government had announced to release three lakh tonnes of onions from its buffer stock to increase availability. Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh took a meeting with the Managing Directors of NAFED and NCCF last week and finalized the modalities for the 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 previous month and year are above threshold level. In the current year, a total of 3 lakh metric tonne of onion has been procured for the buffer, which could be enhanced further, if situation demands. The two central nodal agencies NAFED and NCCF had procured 1.50 lakh metric tonne each of rabi onion during June and July from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. This year, irradiation of onion had also been taken up on pilot basis in collaboration with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre with the objective of minimizing storage loss. About one thousand Metric Tonnes has been irradiated and stored in controlled atmosphere storage. Government of India is maintaining an onion buffer, under the Price Stabilisation Fund, to check prices of onions.