The Government of India has lifted the ban on export of Krishnapuram onions with immediate effect: from 6th February 2020. According to a notification issued by Amit Yadav, Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said “Export of Krishnapuram onions against (Serial Number 52 of Chapter 7 of Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) classification of Export & Import Items), upto a quantity of 10,000 MT has been allowed for the period upto 31 March, 2020, with immediate effect.”
The conditions for lifting the ban imposed by the government are: “The export of shipment of Krishnapuram Onion shall be allowed only through Chennai port and export to be completed by 31st March 2020. An exporter shall have to get a certificate from the Assistant Director, Horticulture Kadapa, Government of Andhra Pradesh certifying the quantity of Krishnapuram Onion for export purpose. This certificate shall be registered by the exporter at the Office of Zonal Additional DGFT, Chennai.
“The Office of Zonal Additional DGFT, Chennai shall monitor the total quantity being allowed for exports and issue registration certificate based on the quantity of Krishnapuram Onion issued for export by Government of Andhra Pradesh.
“The Customs Authorities at the Chennai port will allow export of Krishnapuram Onion on the basis of Certificate from Assistant Director, Horticulture Kadapa, Government of Andhra Pradesh and registration certificate from Office of Additional DGFT, Chennai submitted by the exporter.”
The decision to lift the ban on export of Krishnapuram onions preceded by raising of the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha by V. Vijaysai Reddy, the parliamentary party leader of YSR Congress Party. “I support the government in its decision to ban all exports of onions from the country in view of the unprecedented rise in the price of onion. But, India is a diverse country and one policy cannot be applied to all,” he said. “It should be noted that there exists a variety of Onion called K. P. Onion, which is grown in over 5000 acres of land in and around the YSR Kadapa and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh. This K. P. Onion is not for domestic use, it is grown exclusively for export purpose. K. P. Onion is not used in the kitchen due to its small size and pungency. These for export exclusive onions are imported by countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore among others. Unfortunately, the blanket ban on exports of onion issued on September 2019, covered the K. P. Onions also and thereby adversely impacting the thousands of farmers growing it as they could not even sell it in the domestic market. A similar variety of onions called the Rose Onions of Karnataka have now been allowed to be exported.”
If the ban was not lifted, the farmers would have incurred heavy losses as the shelf-life of K. P. onions is short.
B. Madana Mohan Reddy, Secretary, Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA) said the ban was lifted with the relentless efforts of the consortium, with the help of MPs from Andhra Pradesh and by the swift action taken by Piyush Goyal the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India.