The recent hike in onion prices has caused inconvenience to the public, prompting the government to take action.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has issued a notification stating that the central government has set a minimum export price (MEP) of $800 per tonne for onions, effective until December 31, 2023.
This measure has been implemented to ensure that there is an adequate supply of onions at reasonable prices for domestic consumers, as limiting exports has resulted in reduced storage capacity for onions. Additionally, the government had previously imposed a 40% duty on onion exports on August 19, with a deadline of December 31.
An additional 2 lakh tonnes of onions have been acquired for the buffer stock. The Minimum Export Price (MEP) of $800 per metric tonne translates to approximately Rs 67 per kg. In addition to implementing MEPs on onion exports, the government has also announced the procurement of an extra 2 lakh tonnes of onions for the buffer stock, surpassing the 5 lakh tonnes already obtained.
As per reports, the buffered onions have been consistently distributed in major consumption centers across the country since the second week of August. Furthermore, these onions have been made available to retail consumers at a price of Rs 25 per kg through mobile vans operated by NCCF and NAFED (NAFED).