The central government's Department of Commerce on September 14 banned "with immediate effect" export of onions as its average trade price in the country's biggest onion market in Maharashtra's Lasalgaon touched ₹ 30/kg - double of what it was in March. "The export of all varieties of onions... is prohibited with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. The ban has infuriated onion farmers. They had just started getting better prices for their produce which was washed away or spoilt in the heavy monsoons that hit the country's onion growing belt, including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Former chief minister and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis on September 16 wrote to Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal requesting immediate lifting of the ban on onion exports. Bengaluru South Lok Sabha MP Tejasvi Surya on September 16 also wrote to Piyush Goyal. He requested the Union Minister to exempt Bangalore Rose variety of onions from the banned list. NCP President Sharad Pawar - a key constituent in the tri-party combine governing Maharashtra – had said that he had discussed the issue with Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and urged him to rethink it. Pawar said that the ban on the export of onions would immensely benefit the exporters from Pakistan. All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Dr Ajit Navale said the ban not only deceives onion growers from Maharashtra but across the country. According to data from the Lasalgaon market, the price of onion doubled between March and September