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Govt’s policy neither beneficial to farmers nor consumers, claims Sena (UBT)

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MUMBAI, Aug 22: The Shiv Sena (UBT) on Tuesday slammed the Centre over its decision to impose
40 per cent export duty on onions and claimed the government’s policy is neither beneficial to
farmers nor consumers.
An editorial in the Sena (UBT) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ further claimed the Modi government gives
assurances of doubling the income of farmers, but works in a way that they do not even get the
expected income.
On August 19, the central government imposed 40 per cent export duty on onions to restrict
outward shipments and boost local availability, amid apprehension about the kharif output and signs
of firming of retail prices.
The decision led to protests by farmers and traders in various parts of Maharashtra, especially in
Nashik district.
“The policy of the government is neither beneficial to farmers nor consumers,” the editorial in
Saamana said.
Whenever there is a chance for farmers to earn a little more money, the government either resorts
to export duty or ban on exports, the Marathi daily claimed.
This decision to impose 40 per cent duty was announced all of a sudden, and thousands of tonnes of
onion are stuck at the country’s ports. If it rots, then it can neither be exported nor sold within the
country, the Sena (UBT) said.
Consumer affairs minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday alleged that some “political opponents” are
creating a “wrong picture” about the export duty slapped on onion, and urged farmers not to worry
as the Centre has restarted procurement at Rs 2,410 per quintal for its buffer stock.
The minister asserted the decision to impose 40 per cent export duty on onions has been taken to
protect the consumers’ interest, but at the same time the Centre has also decided to purchase
additional 2 lakh tonnes of onion from farmers to avoid any panic selling.
He also said the government will increase the size of the buffer stock and procure more from
farmers if the need arises.
Goyal announced that additional procurement of 2 lakh tonnes of onion for the buffer stock will be
done at Rs 2,410 per quintal, which he said is a “historical rate” and much higher than the average Rs
1,800-1,900 per quintal the farmers normally get from exports. (PTI)

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