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EGoM to take call on ban on onion exports: FM

Mumbai: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here today that the Empowered Group of Ministers` (EGoM) meeting on September 20 would consider the demand for lifting the ban on onion exports.

"A suitable decision about lifting the ban on export of onion would be taken at the EGoM meeting on September 20," a press noted by the Maharashtra government quoted Mukherjee as saying.

Last week, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Finance Minister had decided to ban exports to boost the domestic supply and control rising retail prices, which had gone up to Rs 25/kg in the national capital.

A meeting chaired by Mukherjee and attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and representatives of farmers was held to discuss the issues like lifting of ban on onion exports and implications of rise in cotton prices on mills, the press note said.

"They have advanced the meeting to Tuesday (September) 20," the Chief Minister told reporters after coming out of the meeting adding earlier the GoM was supposed to meet in a fortnight`s time.

PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said he expected some positive news from the meeting.

When asked whether farmers will now resume selling onions in markets, he said, "They would wait for the outcome of the the meeting …it is only two days away."

He said that onion price of up to Rs 1,100 per tonne which farmers are getting at present is not enough even to meet the costs. There is an urgent need to look at alternatives, which includes lifting the ban on exports.

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