ISLAMABAD: The government on Sunday formally notified the ban on the export of onions. According to a notification issued by the food security and research ministry, the embargo will remain in place till May 31.
The representative body of fruit and vegetable exporters has urged the government to allow the export of onions that had already been transported to the port.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet recently imposed an embargo on the export of onions as part of its efforts to curb the rising prices of essential edibles.
Wahid Ahmed, the patron-in-chief of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), feared that onion exporters could suffer a loss of $2 million.
“The government should allow the export of the onions that were transported to the port before the notification,” he added.
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“Around 170 containers carrying onions are stuck at the port and have to be shipped.”
Earlier, Waheed had written a letter to Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood telling him that the country had a surplus quantity of onions to ensure price stability and a ban on their export would deprive the country from much-needed foreign exchange earnings.
He added that onion exporters had already received advance payments from foreign buyers and were unable to provide them with the commodity now after the ban. “This would dent their credibility,”
Waheed further wrote that onion exporters had bought large quantities of onion from growers for their foreign orders.
“The current crop from Sindh and the arrival of Balochistan’s produce soon would create a surplus in the market.”
The patron-in chief of the association said the government should have given 10 days before imposing the ban and it should have been implemented in phases as was the case in India.
On the exporters’ request, the government had delayed the issuance of the notification about the ban for 10 days.
Haji Shahjehan, the head of wholesale market at Karachi New Super Highway, said the government’s decision to ban onion export had lowered the price of vegetable from Rs40 per kg to Rs30 per kg but the its retail rates remained unchanged at Rs60-70 per kg.
He said the government had not imposed a ban on exports and instead allowed imports from Afghanistan and Iran when the wholesale price of onions had touched Rs100 per kg last year.