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“Government of India Lifts Onion Export Ban for Sri Lanka, Reinforces Neighbourhood First Policy”

The Indian High Commission in Colombo announced that the Government of India has lifted the export ban on onions destined for Sri Lanka. According to a statement released by the High Commission on Monday, the export of onions to Sri Lanka has been authorized, allowing for up to 10,000 metric tons of onions as per the notification from India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

This exemption for Sri Lanka reaffirms India’s commitment to its Neighbourhood First policy, coinciding with the festivities of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in the region.

Previously, India had extended the ban on onion exports indefinitely, starting in December, causing a surge in prices in various international markets. As the world’s leading exporter of onions, the ban’s impact was particularly felt by countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal, and the United Arab Emirates, which heavily rely on Indian imports to meet their domestic demands.

However, recent reports indicated India’s intention to supply significant quantities of onions to Sri Lanka and the UAE, following substantial provisions of essential commodities to the Maldives. On April 3, India authorized an additional 10,000 tons of onion exports to the UAE, emphasizing the priority relationship between the two nations.

Traders estimate that more than half of all onion imports by Asian countries originate from India. Notably, India achieved a record export of 2.5 million metric tons of onions in the financial year ending on March 31, 2023.

–With Inputs from Agencies

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