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Hiked Duty On Onion Exports Must Be Lifted: Sharad Pawar

Speaking at an event in Purandar tehsil of Pune district on Thursday, the former Union agriculture minister said it was the government's responsibility to ensure a fair price for onions.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar
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Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has said the 40 per cent duty on onion export must be revoked, and also claimed that the Union government might impose restrictions on sugar exports too.

Speaking at an event in Purandar tehsil of Pune district on Thursday, the former Union agriculture minister said it was the government's responsibility to ensure a fair price for onions.

"For the last few days, farmers in the Nashik region are protesting...they are demanding fair prices for their onion produce. Onions from the country are exported, but the government has imposed a 40 per cent duty on the export. It is the responsibility of the government to give a fair price to onion growers considering the input cost and it is farmers' right to demand it, but no concrete decision has been taken," he said.

The government did announce that it will procure onions at Rs 2,410 per quintal and allow export of 2 lakh tonnes, he noted, adding that in view of the input cost, the procurement price should be increased. In any case, the 40 per cent duty on the export must be lifted, he asserted.

Pawar also claimed that the Centre is contemplating imposing restrictions on sugar exports too. "Maharashtra is the second largest sugar-producing state. Brazil is the largest producer of sugar in the world, followed by India. Last year, due to a drought in Brazil, their sugar production decreased. 

"As a result, the situation for sugarcane producers in our country was favourable and they planned to export sugar. But now the central government is thinking of imposing restrictions on sugar exports," the veteran leader said. If this happens, no state government will be capable of giving better prices to sugarcane, Pawar said.

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