New Delhi, February 22: Amid export ban on onion, India on Thursday took an exception and permitted overseas sale of a fixed quantity of 54,760 tonnes of the key kitchen staple to Bangladesh, Mauritius, Bahrain and Bhutan. "We have allowed export of 50,000 tonnes of onion to Bangladesh, 1,200 tonnes to Mauritius, 3,000 tonnes of Bahrain and 560 tonnes to Bhutan with immediate effect," Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh told PTI.

The shipments will be undertaken by private trade till March 31. The modalities are being worked out, he said. Singh said the decision has been taken following a recommendation from the external affairs ministry. Sources said several countries have made a request for the supply of onion from India. The external affairs ministry is evaluating the quantity on a case-to-case basis and a final decision is taken by the group of ministers. Onion Prices Fall by Rs 150 Per Quintal at Lasalgaon Mandi

Currently, there is a ban on onion exports till March 31. The ban was imposed on December 8, 2023, in order to boost domestic supply and check price rise. Ahead of general elections, the ban is unlikely to be lifted even after March 31 as rabi (winter) onion production is expected to be lower due to less coverage of area, especially in Maharashtra, sources said. In the 2023 rabi season, onion production was estimated to be at 22.7 million tonnes. Usually, rabi onion is stored for consumption in lean season. Even the government buys rabi onions to maintain the buffer. Onion Export Ban: NCP Leader Sharad Pawar To Join Onion Farmers’ Protest in Nashik

The agriculture ministry officials will assess the rabi onion coverage in key growing states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the coming days.

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