Ban on onion export will not help reduce prices, says Raju Shetti
In a bid to control the soaring prices of onions, the central government on Sunday banned the export of the Indian kitchen staple with immediate effect. However, farmers’ leader and Swabhimani Shetakri Sanghatana chief Raju Shetti criticised the central government’s decision and said that this will inturn be a loss to the farmers as the Kharif crop season will begin next month.
Shetti said that according to his past experiences, whenever there is a blanket ban on export of a particular commodity, it takes a lot of time for the government to revoke the ban. “The next arrival of onions is expected in October. The traders start making agreements for export at least a month in advance. This ban will be a huge loss for traders and farmers who want to export the onions that would be produced in the next arrival,” added Shetti.
“The government does not have any knowledge about agricultural issues. Why would the traders and famers export onions to global markets when the rate is high in the domestic market? The traders will prefer to sell their produce in local markets as the cost of transportation and taxes is less. This decision will not help bring down the prices,” said Shetti.
Jaydutta Holkar, director, Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Market Committee, said, “As the rate of onions is high in domestic markets, the traders will not export it. They would prefer selling the item in domestic markets, where the rate of the onions is Rs 70 per kilogramme in Pune. This decision will change the market sentiment, but will not bring down prices.”
Shetti claims that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took the decision to ban onion exports keeping in mind the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections. However, the BJP has forgotten that Maharashtra is the largest producer of onions and this decision will have a negative impact on them.
Raju Shetti was in alliance with the BJP during the 2014 lok sabha elections. However, he was upset with the BJP’s agricultural polices, and quit the alliance. He joined hands with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party in 2019.