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India halts onion exports, Maldives exempt from ban

Ahmed Aiham
15 September 2020, MVT 14:18
Maldives will be exempt from any existing or future restriction on exports from India, confirmed the Indian High Commission. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
15 September 2020, MVT 14:18

The government of India, on Monday, halted the export of onions due to shortages in the states of Maharashthra, Andra Pradesh and Karnataka as a result of severe flooding.

However, according to Maldives' Ministry of Foreign Affairs, India has confirmed that the island nation would remain exempt from the ban as its largest neighbour plans to continue its exports under a special bilateral trade agreement.

"In view of the special dispensation made for Maldives, India will continue to export onions from Tuticorin and Kochi ports", said the Indian High Commission.

"The notification issued by Director General of Foreign Trade on 11 August, 2020, clearly specifies that the export of essential food items to Maldives will be exempted from any existing or future restriction/prohibition of exports".

Maldives currently imports onions from India for USD 408.52 per tonne.

On August 13, Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar confirmed an extension to the quota for commodities such as onions, potatoes, rice and wheat to Maldives.

The quota for onions for 2020 was increased to 29,605 metric tonnes from 25,744 metric tonnes, marking a rise of 15 percent compared to 2019.

India also dispatched 580 tons of aid in the form of food to Maldives on May, to assist with meeting the country’s needs during the local outbreak of COVID-19.

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