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Updated: February 23, 2011 14:42 IST

Pawar for lower minimum export price of onions

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Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. File photo
PTI Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. File photo

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said the Minimum Export Price of $600 per tonne of Indian onions is almost double the prevailing rate in international markets and renders them uncompetitive, which he argued was a compelling reason to bring the benchmark down.

“I have enquired from the states where onions are exported to different countries and got information that the prevailing export price is around $250-300, but our MEP, at $600 per tonne, is almost double,” Mr. Pawar told reporters on Wednesday.

“I think it is a fit case for giving a second thought to bring down MEP to make Indian onions internationally competitive,” he said. He expressed confidence that the Group of Ministers meeting next week will give serious thought to the issue.

Last week, a ministerial panel on food headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had lifted a ban on onion exports, but fixed the MEP at $600 per tonne as a precaution against prices of the vegetable shooting up again in the domestic market.

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