The Centre on Saturday imposed a 40% duty on the export of onions in an attempt to control the price of the vegetable, reported The Indian Express.

In a notification, the Ministry of Finance said that the duty will be imposed with immediate effect and remain in place till 31 December.

The move comes amid a rise in onion prices in recent months.

Data by the Department of Consumer Affairs showed that all-India daily average retail price of onion was Rs 30.72 per kg on Saturday, 20.75% higher to last year’s rate of Rs 25.44 per kg.

The rise in prices of onions coincides with a jump in its exports, reported The Indian Express.

Onion exports climbed to 6.38 lakh metric tonnes during April-June, 26.51% higher to 5.04 lakh metric tonnes figure recorded during the same period in 2022, ministry data showed. In June this year, 2.92 lakh metric tonnes of onions was exported, 89.56% higher than 1.54 lakh metric tonnes in the same month last year.

Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh has said the decision to impose duty has been taken to improve the availability of onions in the country and contain the price rise.

The development comes at a time when India’s retail inflation jumped to a 15-month high of 7.44% in July from 4.81% a month ago due to surging food costs. The price rise indicator was 7.79% in April 2022, the highest in eight years.

Food inflation, which accounts for nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, had risen sharply to 11.51% in July from 4.49% in June. Vegetable prices had soared 37.3% compared with a decline of 0.93% the previous month.