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India permits 64,400 tonnes of onion exports to UAE, Bangladesh

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New Delhi: The government has permitted exports of 64,400 tonnes of onion to the UAE and Bangladesh through the National Cooperative Exports Ltd (NCEL), according to notifications of the commerce ministry.

While export of 50,000 tonnes of onion is permitted to Bangladesh, shipments of 14,400 tonnes were allowed to the UAE.

“Export of 14,400 tonnes of onions, with a quantity ceiling of 3,600 MT (metric tonnes) quarterly, to UAE through NCEL is notified,” the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

DGFT is an arm of the commerce ministry, which deals with norms related to imports and exports.

For exports to Bangladesh, it said that the modalities for the exports will be worked out by the NCEL in consultation with the department of consumer affairs.

Though onion exports are banned, the government allows specified quantities to friendly nations.

The exports are allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government to other countries based on their request.

On December 8 last year, the government banned exports of onion till March 31 this year with a view to increase domestic availability and to keep prices in check.

Earlier, the Centre in October 2023 had decided to step up the sale of buffer onion stock at a subsidised rate of Rs 25 per kg in retail markets in order to provide relief to consumers.

To control prices, the government has earlier taken several steps. It had imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 800 per tonne on onion exports on October 28 till December 31, 2023.

In August, India had imposed a 40 per cent export duty on onions up to December 31, 2023.

Between April 1, 2023 and August 4, 2023 this fiscal, 9.75 lakh tonnes of onions have been exported from the country. The top three importing countries in value terms are Bangladesh, Malaysia and the UAE.

Onion is a politically-sensitive commodity.

NCEL is a multi-state cooperative society. It is jointly promoted by some of the leading cooperative societies in the country, namely, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), popularly known as AMUL; Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO); Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd (KRIBHCO); and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED). (PTI)

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