Indian Government Imposes 40% Export Duty on Onions to Stabilize Supplies and Control Prices. In the wake of recently surging rice prices and now escalating onion prices, the Indian government has taken steps to address the situation.
The current onion prices have risen by 19.7% compared to the previous year, marking the highest nominal value since September 2011, as reported by FAO data.
New Delhi: To enhance domestic onion supplies and prevent price hikes during the upcoming festive season, the government has introduced a 40% export duty on onions, effective until December 31, 2023.
This marks the first-time implementation of such a duty, prompted by the trend of "exceptionally high export" during the ongoing year. Previously, the government had implemented bans on onion exports from September to December in 2020, and set a minimum export price in 2019.
This recent action follows the revelation of official data indicating a retail inflation spike, with the consumer price index reaching a 15-month high of 7.4% in July, up from the previous month's 4.9%. Prime Minister Modi, during his Independence Day speech, vowed to control inflation and alleviate the burden on citizens.
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Officials have noted that this year's onion exports have seen significant growth during the January-March period, with around 8.2 lakh tonnes compared to the previous corresponding period's 3.8 lakh tonnes.
In an effort to bolster onion availability in the domestic market, particularly in anticipation of the approaching festival season, Union consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh announced the 40% export duty. He emphasized that recent exports had witnessed a sharp rise.
Government data underscores that the average retail price of onions has climbed to Rs 30 per kg from Rs 25 a month ago. This uptick is attributed to sluggish kharif sowing due to delayed monsoon arrivals in key onion-producing states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. Additionally, the shelf-life of stored rabi crops has been impacted by high moisture content resulting from unseasonal rains in April. While onion production is slightly lower at 31 million tonnes compared to 31.7 MTs last year, quality concerns persist.