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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Centre bans onion export, imposes stock limit on wheat in check against rising food prices

Onions, a vegetable that has political fallouts when expensive, have been placed under the ‘‘prohibited’’ category immediately for four months till March, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 09.12.23, 09:58 AM
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The government has banned the export of onion and imposed stock limits on wheat to increase the availability of these key staples and check rising food prices ahead of the general election next year.

Onions, a vegetable that has political fallouts when expensive, have been placed under the ‘‘prohibited’’ category immediately for four months till March, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification.

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“Export policy of onions is amended from free to prohibited till March 31, 2024,” the notification said. Local vendors in the national capital are selling onions at Rs 70-Rs 80 per kg.

To curb the hoarding of wheat and check its price rise, the central government on Friday further tightened stock holding norms for wholesalers, retailers, big chain retailers and processors with immediate effect.

Food secretary Sanjeev Chopra said the Centre has reduced the wheat stock limit to 1,000 tonnes from 2,000 tonnes for traders/wholesalers across the country.

The stock limit will be 5 tonnes instead of 10 tonnes for each retailer, 5 tonnes for each depot of a big chain retailer and a total of 1,000 tonnes for all their depots, he said.

In the case of processors, they can hold 70 per cent of monthly installed capacity multiplied by the remaining months of 2023-24, he added.

“This has been done to prevent artificial scarcity and curb hoarding. The revised stock limits will be applicable from immediate effect,” Chopra said. The traders will get 30 days to reduce the stock to the revised limits, he added..

Chopra said the government is ready to offload an additional 2.5 million tonnes of FCI wheat to bulk consumers during January-March 2024.

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