New Delhi- The government on Tuesday defended its decision to impose export ban on onion, stating that sometimes Indian consumers should get the priority to get essential goods at appropriate prices.

She was responding to a question flagged by NCP leader Supriya Sule during the discussion on supplementary demands for grants in the Lok Sabha.

India on December 8 banned exports of onion till March next year to increase domestic availability and keep prices in check, which is currently selling at about Rs 60 per kg.

The minister said that the government carefully balance the interests of farmers and consumers.

“I understand the concern, but if there are crop shortages and if there are difficulties of getting something as essential as onion to the market, we will have to ensure that Indian consumers get the priority and therefore, sometimes we need to come up with these measures,” Sitharaman said.

NCP president Sharad Pawar on December 11 joined a protest by onion farmers in Maharashtra’s Nashik district and demanded that the ban on export of the key kitchen staple be lifted immediately.

Several farmers staged a ‘rasta roko’ (road blockade) on the Mumbai-Agra National Highway against the Centre’s decision to ban the exports.

Addressing onion growers in Chandwad village of Nashik, Pawar claimed the central government was ignoring the hard work of farmers and said cultivators need to be united and demand their rights. (PTI)  


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