Lahore, Jan 06 (Agencies): Authorities in Pakistan, on Thursday, stopped 300 trucks of onions bound for India at the Wagah land border, saying exports had to be curbed to control rising prices within the country.

The Government of Punjab stopped the exports on Thursday morning. A Government spokesman said that a ban on onion exports has been imposed to control prices of the commodity, which have escalated since the sales to India began last month.

"After the ban, the prices in domestic markets declined by 45 per cent," he said.
Pakistan started exporting onions to India in mid-December after the food commodity prices in the latter shot up to above Rs 60 a kilo. “Over 300 tonnes of onions were being sent to India every day, mainly through the Wagah border crossing,” traders said.

Officials said that prices of onions stayed at high levels in Pakistan due to the devastation of crops by last year’s unprecedented floods, especially in the southern Sindh province. The federal Commerce Ministry was reviewing exports to ensure there is no shortage of onions and to control the price rise.

The traders said they could lose millions of rupees due to the Government’s decision and truckloads of onions already at Wagah could go waste. They also organised protests against the Government’s decision at markets in Gujranwala and Lahore.

This is the first time in a decade that India has imported onions from Pakistan, making the exporters hopeful of making good gains.