The government on Thursday banned exports of onion seeds with immediate effect amidst rising prices of the bulb in the domestic markets. Earlier, the export of onion seeds was in the restricted category, which means an exporter was required to obtain a licence or permission from the government for shipments.
"The export of onion seeds is prohibited, with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. It added that the provisions under transitional arrangement shall not be applicable. Onion seed exports were worth USD 0.57 million during April-August this fiscal against USD 3.5 million in the full 2019-20 fiscal.
The DGFT has already banned exports of onion to contain onion prices. The Centre imposed stock holding limit on retail and wholesale traders till December 31 to improve the domestic availability of the commodity and provide relief to consumers. Retailers can stock onion only up to 2 tonne, whereas wholesale traders are allowed to keep up to 25 tonne, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said in a press conference.
Onion prices have shot up sharply to about Rs 70 per kg in the last few weeks in the wake of damage to standing Kharif crop in producing areas due to heavy rainfall.