India circumvents onion export ban, grants limited quota to UAE despite prohibition extension

New Delhi: India has allowed a limited quantity of onion exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), defying the extended ban on onion exports imposed until further notice.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, through the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), issued a notification on Wednesday, permitting the export of an additional 10,000 metric tons (MT) of onions to the UAE, facilitated through the National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL).

This allowance comes as a significant exception amid the prevailing ban on onion exports.

The notification is issued under the authority in line with the Foreign Trade Policy, 2023.

It amends the previous notification extending the quota of onion exports to the UAE, despite the ban extension.

This decision traces back to earlier announcements by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, wherein the ban on onion exports was extended indefinitely until further orders. Notably, the ban extension was confirmed through a notification dated March 22, prohibiting the export of onions.

India’s onion export policy has seen several alterations in recent months. Initially, a ban on onion exports was imposed until March 31.

However, notifications extended the ban, allowing exceptions for specific countries based on their requests and India’s discretion.

Earlier this month, India granted permission for the export of 50,000 tonnes of onions to Bangladesh and 14,400 tonnes to the UAE, signalling a departure from the blanket ban approach.

Despite the ban, a limited ceiling of 3,600 tonnes per quarter for onion exports to the UAE was set, as per the DGFT notification.

Furthermore, the central government had earlier imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 800 per tonne on a free-on-board basis for onion exports, effective from October 29, as a measure to regulate exports and stabilize domestic onion prices.

(With inputs from ANI)


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