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New Delhi, Oct 30: The central government on Saturday notified a minimum export price (MEP) of US$ 800 per metric tonne (MT) on onion export till December 31, 2023 to maintain domestic availability.

The MEP of US$ 800 per metric tonne on onion translates into about Rs 67 per kg.

“The measure has been taken to maintain sufficient availability of onion to domestic consumers at affordable prices as the quantity of stored Rabi 2023 onion is declining by curbing the quantity of onion exports,” an official statement from Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said.

In addition to the decision to impose MEP on onion exports, the government has also announced the procurement of additional 2 lakh tonnes of onion for the buffer, over and above the 5 lakh tonnes already procured.

“Onion from the buffer has been disposed continuously from the second week of August in major consumption centres all over the country, and also supplied to retail consumers at Rs 25/kg through mobile vans operated by NCCF and NAFED,” the press release said.

As per the official release, till date about 1.70 lakh metric tonnes of onion has been disposed from the buffer.

The continuous procurement and disposal of onion from the buffer are undertaken to moderate the prices for consumers while ensuring remunerative prices to the onion farmers.