Maharashtra’s CM Plans To Discuss With The Center, To Press For Removal Of Import Duty On Onion Imposed By Bangladesh

Maharashtra’s CM Plans To Discuss With The Center, To Press For Removal Of Import Duty On Onion Imposed By Bangladesh

Located in Asia, India is the largest exporter of onions in the world; followed by Netherlands, China, Mexico and the USA. In India, onions are largely cultivated in the state of Maharashtra. The state generates around 5355.39 thousand metric tonnes of onions on an average. The harvesting of onions is done in two cycles, firstly from November to January, and secondly from January to May.

Lasalgaon town in Maharashtra is the largest export market for onions in India. The wholesale market is located in Nashik district of Maharashtra.

Owing to improved water availability, India has produced onions in abundance in the current marketing season. The harvest of Kharif as well as late-kharif is done in the same time period due to which the onion stocks are very high in the wholesale market resulting in a crash in the selling price of onions.

Due to high production, for the previous 2-3 weeks, market requirement for onions has been dropping. An onion dealer also remarked that a big supply of onion and lower demand caused a decline in Onion Price.

Reason Behind Declining Onion Price

Maharashtra contributes for almost 40% of India’s annual onion output of 25-26 million tonnes (mt), with 1.5-1.6 million tonnes exported. Apart from Maharashtra, important producers are Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar, and Rajasthan.

There are various reasons for the price drop of onions. Heavy rainfall, and rapid spike in temperatures beginning during the second week of February  are the two prime reasons for low price. Onions with a substantial amount of moisture are susceptible to heat shock quality degradation, with the quick drying-up causing bulb shrivelling.

“Usually, farmers would have sold solely the kharif harvest right now. But, the high heatwave this year has prompted them to discharge even late-kharif onions, which cannot be kept. Prices have dropped since both kharif and late-kharif onions are arriving at the same time,” said Mr. Suresh Deshmukh, a commission agent who works out of the Dindori market, roughly 50 kms from Lasalgaon.

GOI Emphasis On Bangladesh To Remove Import Duty

Bangladesh primarily imports onions from India. But the issue with Bangladesh has been increased import duty on onions. Amid the whole scenario, the opposition party is raising the fault at the ongoing budget session.

On Friday, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Hon’ble Eknath Sambhaji Shinde said that he will conduct a meeting with the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Hon’ble Piyush Goyal with respect to the need for the GOI to impress upon Bangladesh so that it would reduce the import duty on onions as it is hampering the export rate, particularly from Maharashtra.

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