No proposal under consideration to ban onion exports: Thomas
New Delhi: Government is not considering any proposal to ban onion exports as the hike in price of the commodity is not because of outward shipments, Food Minister K V Thomas said Friday.
"Currently there is no proposal under consideration to ban the export of onion. The present rise in onion prices is not linked to exports of onion as it constitutes less than 10 per cent of domestic production," he said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
He, however, said a minimum export price (MEP) has been set at USD 650/tonne to discourage exports.
"Prices of commodities including vegetables like onion and tomatoes are mainly governed by market forces of demand and supply, cost of transportation and storage, weather conditions etc," he said.
Thomas added that whole sale price index (WPI), an indicator of general price trend, shows that rate of inflation of onion has increased to 144.94 per cent in July this year.
WPI of onion was in negative at 10.05 per cent in July last year.
Thomas said government has started vegetable initiative for urban clusters (VIUC) to enhance production and productivity of vegetables in identified cities.
Onion is being sold at high prices. Rates had skyrocketed to Rs 80 per kg across the country, prompting the government to impose MEP on onion to curb exports. The Centre had also directed Nafed to import edible bulb to boost domestic supply.