India bans onion exports, allows export of rice and wheat

The government today announced a ban on export of onions from the country in the wake of an unprecedented rise in the prices of the commodity. Announcing the decision, the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) said the ban would have immediate effect.

Onion prices have risen to over Rs25 per kg in the retail market, from Rs15 per kg a month ago, amidst supply constraints. The government said it would review the policy on a fortnightly basis.

The EGoM headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee also decided to allow export of non-basmati rice and wheat under open general licence.

It also decided to continue the subsidy of Rs15 a litre on edible oil until end-September.

"Wheat and non-basmati rice exports have been put under the Open General License (OGL)," commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said.

While the government lifted a four-year-old ban on wheat exports, it has prescribed a 2 million tonne limit for export of both wheat and rice.