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Onion lobby wins as govt lifts ban on export


Rupashree Nanda,CNN-IBN
Sep 20, 2011 at 09:10pm IST

New Delhi: The Centre has lifted the ban on onion exports after pressure from Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and protests by farmers. The decision will be reviewed after a fortnight.

The government had imposed a ban on onion exports on September 9 to check its spiralling prices which touched Rs 25 per kg in retail in the national capital.

Pawar and Deshmukh argued at the EGoM that despite the market being closed for over 10 days, the retail price of onions hadn't gone up and with a predicted bumper crop prices won't rise.

Surprise support came in from an earlier reluctant Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram as well. Onion has united an earlier divided UPA.

A lift in the ban means better prices for traders and farmers and it also shows that powerful allies and lobbies can force economic decisions.

But the government isn't taking chances. With rising inflation, steep fuel prices, any rise in the price of an essential commodity like onion is bound to make things worse for the government and so this decision will be reviewed fortnightly.

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