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Govt. acts to check onion price fall

The Centre on Friday doubled the incentive granted for the export of onions under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to 10%. File photo

The Centre on Friday doubled the incentive granted for the export of onions under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to 10%. File photo  

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Doubles export incentive to 10% in a bid to stabilise price of the commodity

The Centre on Friday doubled the incentive granted for the export of onions under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to 10% from 5% as a measure to help farmers, by stabilising the slumping price of the commodity.

“This will result in better price for onion in domestic markets,” the government said in a release. “It may be noted that the onion arrivals have increased in the market at present due to which the prices in the mandis are subdued.”

‘To contain situation’

“To contain the situation, it has been decided by the Government to encourage exports of onions so that the domestic prices stabilise,” the government said, acknowledging the recent fall in the price of the vegetable that has forced farmers to sell below cost. The Centre had introduced the export incentive at 5% for onions only in July as a measure to help boost price realisation for the growers.

 

“Now, with the current increase, onions enjoy one of the highest incentives for agro-exports. This timely intervention would help the farmers who have recently harvested their produce and who have sowed/ recently transplanted their seeds, expecting better prices,” the government said explaining the decision’s rationale.

Tamarind, wild honey

In a separate decision, the Centre also raised the minimum support price (MSP) on 23 Minor Forest Produce (MFP) items including tamarind and wild honey and introduced MSP for 17 new items. The items whose MSP has been revised include forest produce covered under the scheme that was introduced in 2013-14.

“In view of the general cost escalation on all fronts, the question of revision of MSP of the MFP items had been under consideration of the Government for some time,” the government said.

Some of the items that have seen an increase in MSP are tamarind (with seeds) from ₹18 per kg to ₹31 per kg, wild honey (₹195 per kg from ₹150 per kg), Karanj seeds (from ₹18 per kg to ₹19 per kg), Sal seeds (from ₹12 per kg to ₹20 per kg), and Mahua seeds (from ₹20 per kg to ₹25 per kg).

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also approved increasing the MSP for fair average quality (FAQ) of “milling copra” to ₹9,521 per quintal for the 2019 season, from ₹7,511 per quintal in 2018, and the MSP of “ball copra” to ₹9,920 per quintal for 2019, from ₹7,750 per quintal in 2018.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 8:49:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-acts-to-check-onion-price-fall/article25854057.ece

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