Amid protests over export duty, Maharashtra minister says it will make no difference if people do not eat onions for 2-4 months

11:10 AM Aug 22, 2023 | PTI |

Mumbai: Amid protests by farmers and traders against the imposition of export duty of 40 percent on onions by the Union government, Maharashtra minister Dada Bhuse on Monday claimed it would make no difference if people did not consume the kitchen staple for two to four months.


The Union government on August 19 imposed a 40 percent duty on the export of onions to increase domestic availability amid signs of increasing prices and in view of the upcoming festival season.

The export duty, which is the first time ever on onion, was imposed by the Finance Ministry through a Customs notification and will be in force till December 31.

”When you use a vehicle worth Rs 10 lakh, you can buy produce at a higher rate by Rs 10 or Rs 20 than the retail rate. Those who cannot afford to buy onion, it would make no difference if they do not eat it for 2-4 months,” the state PWD minister said.

He, however, also said the decision to impose export duty should have been taken with proper coordination. ”Sometimes, onion fetches rates of Rs 200 per quintal while sometimes it attracts Rs 2,000 per quintal. A discussion can be held and an amicable solution can be found,” Bhuse said.


Earlier in the day, traders decided to close onion auctions indefinitely in all the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in Nashik, including at Lasalgaon, which is the largest wholesale onion market in India.

The Nashik District Onion Traders Association had given the call to not take part in auctions of the kitchen staple indefinitely till the Centre rolls back its decision, sources said.

Several farmers and traders held protests across the district seeking a rollback of the export duty.


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