"Imposition of MEP on onion export is expected to help in arresting the rise in prices and stabilizing the onion prices in the domestic markets and balance the interests of both farmers and consumers," the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

The government has yesterday imposed a minimum export price of USD 300 per tonne on onion to curb their exports and help cool spiralling domestic prices.

Onion prices have risen to about Rs 25-30 per kg in the national capital from Rs 15-20 per kg a fortnight ago.

The MEP, the rate below which no exports are allowed, has been re-introduced barely 3 months after the previous government in March had abolished it.

The statement said that MEP of onion is fixed by an Inter- ministerial Committee, chaired by Joint Secretary in the Department of Commerce.

"This committee takes stock of the arrival of onion and modal prices prevailing in the important production and consumption centres and decides the MEP of onion accordingly," it said.

It also said that in their meeting held on June 13, the Committee observed that the modal rates in the producing mandies have shown increase during the second week of June and the retail and wholesale prices in four metropolitan cities have also shown steady increase as compared to prices prevailing on May 1.

"The committee as such observed that there is an urgent need to calibrate exports in order to augment domestic supplies so that domestic prices do not overshoot in near future. Therefore, the IMC decided to fix the MEP at USD 300 per MT," it added.


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