The UPA government’s strategy to control domestic prices through ban on exports opposed by both the Congress and opposition chief ministers at the National Development Council meeting here on Friday.
Maharashtra’s Congress chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi raised concerns on previous export bans and asked the Centre not to impose them in future as it affects the prospects of the domicile farmers.
While Modi slammed the central government for its cotton ban claiming it resulted in a loss of R7000 crore, Chavan was concerned over the ban on onion and sugar exports.
The government is allowing restricted export of these commodities but the observation of the two CMs came two days after an empowered group of ministers (EGoM) was cancelled due to differences between agriculture and food ministry over further easing of export restrictions.
Expressing his displeasure over the strategy to ban export of sugar and onion, Chavan told HT, “There is no quantitative restriction in imports under the WTO regime. Why should there be a ban on exports?”
The Maharashtra CM said he was not opposed to putting higher duties on exports but a “blanket ban spoils our credibility and overseas marker for Indian commodities.”
He also said, “Onion growers get higher returns only during a small period in an year. We need to protect both consumers and producers’ interest.”