The Centre on Sunday prohibited the export of all varieties of onions with immediate effect in an effort to rein in prices of the vegetable, ANI reported. The ban will be in place until further orders, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
A restriction on exports of a commodity encourages supply in the domestic market, thus typically making it cheaper. Prices of onions have risen in the last few weeks as supply from states such as Maharashtra has been disrupted due to rain and subsequent floods.
Retailers can stock only up to 100 quintals of onions and wholesalers up to 500 quintals, the ministry said, adding that state governments have been told to ensure there is no hoarding of the kitchen staple, according to PTI.
“In view of sustained high price of onion in the market, the central government today took several steps to contain its prices, namely imposition of stock limit on traders, ban on exports, and sate governments will take strict measures to prevent hoarding,” the Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Traders from Maharashtra claimed that sufficient stock of onions from the previous year’s crop exists, but transportation had been difficult due to incessant rain, NDTV reported earlier. They also claimed that the price rise was due to an anticipated fall in kharif or summer production.
Last week, onion prices touched the highest levels in four years, according to Business Standard.