WR ferries 15 Special Rakes for transportation of Onions to various destinations from Gujarat

Also, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) extends MEIS Benefit for Onion Exporters till March 31, 2017

AHMEDABAD: As per the directives of Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways, Western Railway has stepped in to quick transportation of the bumper harvest of the famed Red Gujarat O­nions by operating two additional freight trains.

Till date 15 such rakes have already been loaded and were run, while present two rakes per day are being loaded from Gujarat to other parts of the country.

These rakes are being loaded at Mahuva Jn. and Vartej stations under Bhavnagar Division of Western Railway. o­ne rake each from these stations is being loaded and sent to other cities such as Jalandhar, Delhi and Kanpur etc.

Till date approximately 41000 Ton o­nion has been transported from Mahuva Jn. and Vartej stations to various cities of North & North Eastern India. It is worth mentioning that Bhavnagar area is known for its bumper crop of red o­nion every year. Through this additional transportation, local o­nions farmers will get good price for their crop and this perishable commodity will be quickly transported to the other parts of country.

One additional rake will further enhance the carrying capacity of o­nions by 50 per cent. Each goods train carrying average 2500 tons of o­nions from Gujarat to help transport bumper crop to other parts of country. o­nion farmers of Gujarat, produces almost 6 per cent of the total o­nions produced in the country. Rakes will be made available o­n priority for o­nion farmers for sending their produce to the market.

This year o­nion crop is bumper crop almost double than last year, Railway was already providing 50% extra goods train than last year, now further enhanced the carrying capacity of o­nion by 50℅. This o­nion will go to Northern, Eastern and North Eastern parts of India & will help in providing extra markets to farmers.

DGFT extends MEIS Benefit for Onion Exporters till March 31, 2017. Onion exports were at 13,56,381 tonnes in the April-September of fiscal 2016-17

The DGFT in its latest notification NO.49/2015-2020 dtd December 30, 2016, has extended the MEIS benefit at 5% FOB for ‘Onions Fresh or Chilled’ under ITC (HS) code 07031010 for further 3 months i.e., export till March 31, 2017.

Onion major producing states like Maharashtra,  M.P., Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan have seen bumper crop production in September. Fearing a fall in prices as a result of the bumper crop the government of Maharashtra had appealed to the Ministry of Commerce to extend the MEIS duty benefits beyond Dec 31 in order to help the exporters of onion.

In September the Maharashtra State Finance Minister in his letter to the Finance Minister Jaitley had appealed that, “since the crop of onion is huge and early disposal of the product is required, I request you to please take up the matter at an appropriate level to ensure that inclusion of onion exports under MEIS continues.” He also mentioned that due to higher production, farmers and exporters in other onion producing states like M.P., Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka too could be affected. “Maharashtra onions can be consumed within the state or exported out of the country. If onions cannot be exported, there will be a collapse of onion prices and farmers will have to face severe crisis and they will not be able to recover their production costs,” he said.

The harvest of kharif onions too had begun in most of the states. This could add to the already existing quantity of onions as kharif onions cannot be stored for a longer period, which in turn would have a detrimental effect on the farmers who would then be forced to abandon the crops in the field without harvesting. This would lead to the farmers incurring huge losses as they would not recover their production costs.

Exports of onion were at 13,56,381 tonnes in the April-September period of this fiscal. The country’s total onion production in 2015-16 crop year (July-June) is estimated to be higher at 20.99 million tonnes from 18.92 million tonnes last year. Maharashtra alone produced more than one-fourth of the country’s total production of onion.

Currently, the Central government gives grants to export onions under the trade production encouragement scheme which would expire tomorrow i.e. December 31. It is due to this scheme alone that onion exporters could compete in the international arena.

Keeping this in mind it is likely that the DGFT and the Ministry of Finance have given further extension to benefit onion exporters for another 3 months.

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