Cong MP demands removal of ban on onion exports

New Delhi, Sep 18 : Congress MP Rajiv Satav on Friday demanded that the union government-imposed ban on the export of onion should be removed as it is harsh on the farmers.

Satav raised his demand in the Rajya Sabha, following the government’s announcment of a blanket ban on the export of onion on Tuesday.

The suden restriction jolted the onion growers in Lasalgaon, the country’s biggest wholesale market of the staple vegetable as politicians and other farmers cried foul.

While NCP President Sharad Pawar, a former Union Agriculture Minister, met Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, farmers in Lasalgaon dumped onions on the roads and blocked the Mumbai-Agra Highway near the town.

The protesters raised slogans against the Centre’s ban even as the Maharashtra government and consumers braced for the fallout.

“I apprised Goyal of the plight of onion growers, who are mostly small and marginal farmers. I informed him that onions are in good demand internationally and we have been exporting the crop consistently.

“The sudden decision (to ban) by the Centre is a major blow to India’s image as a reliable exporter of onions,” Pawar said after the meeting with Goyal.

He pointed out that Pakistan and other onion-exporting countries will benefit from the situation and urged Goyal to “reconsider the ban” on onion exports.

Goyal said that the ban was proposed by the Ministry of Consumer Protection in view of the spiralling prices of onion in the domestic market, but assured that he would reconsider after consulting with other Ministries on the issue.

IANS

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