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Centre bans onion exports as prices double


Dec 21, 2010 at 09:57am IST

New Delhi: A worried government on Monday decided to suspend onion exports till January 15 in the wake of skyrocketing prices of the commodity which is selling between Rs 60-70 a kg.

Concerned over sudden increase in onion prices, the Delhi government has called an emergency meet on Tuesday.

Delhi government on Monday said it was considering opening of special outlets to sell the vegetable at wholesale rates.

Food and Civil Supplies Secretary Jayashree Raghuraman held a meeting with top officials of the department and asked them to get in touch with traders in Maharashtra from where the city gets most of the onion supply.

The onion prices, which were already selling at Rs 35-40 a kg, rose astronomically since yesterday when it went up to Rs 60-70 a kg in retail outlets in Delhi and surrounding areas.

"We are considering various options to bring down the prices," said a top official who attended the meeting.

He said government was also considering opening special outlets to sell onion at wholesale rates in the city.

The wholesale price of onion has soared to Rs 30-60 a kg in Azadpur market fruit and vegetables market since Sunday.

Traders attributed the rise in rates to supply crunch due to unseasonal rains in Maharashtra.

Govt suspends onion export

Agriculture cooperative major Nafed, which along with 12 other agencies regulates onion exports, have been asked to stop giving fresh clearance to exporters from Tuesday morning till January 15 next year.

"There will be voluntarily suspension of issuance of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) by NAFED, NCCF and other STEs for exports", an official statement said.

It said NAFED and NCCF (National Consumer Cooperative Federation) will sell onion at cheaper rates from Tuesday through their retail outlets.

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