Govt may review ban on onion exports at next EGoM meeting
New Delhi: Amid farmers' protest against the onion export ban, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas Wednesday said the government may review the decision at the next meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Food.
Last week, the EGoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had decided to ban exports to boost domestic supply and control rising retail prices, which have risen to Rs 25/kg in the national capital from Rs 15/kg in the last few weeks.
"We are watching the situation. We may review the decision in the next EGoM," Thomas told reporters here.
Thomas said the government is not against farmers and traders, but emphasised that onions should be available to consumers at a reasonable price.
"We can understand the Nasik traders problems. We are not against farmers and traders, the only thinking is people of this country should get onions at a reasonable price," Thomas observed.
All the onion markets in Nasik district of Maharashtra, the country's biggest onion-producing state, have remained closed since September 9 in protest against the export ban.
The minister said the government took the precautionary decision to ban onion exports as it did not want prices to escalate to the levels witnessed earlier this year, when onions were selling at rates as high as Rs 80/kg.
Thomas said that cooperatives Nafed and NCCF have started selling onions from their outlets in Delhi at Rs 18/kg.