New Delhi: The Narendra Modi-led Centre on Monday banned the export of all varieties of onions with immediate effect. The move was apparently aimed at increasing domestic supply and reducing prices which have risen in the recent past to Rs 35 to 40 in Delhi. Also Read - COVID-19 Symptoms in Order: How to Differentiate Common Symptoms From Flu

However, the ban won’t apply to onions exported in cut, sliced or broken in powder form, Also Read - COVID-19: Centre Should've Admitted That There is Community Spread in Delhi, Says Satyendra Jain

In a notification, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry stated, “In exercise of the power conferred by Section 3 of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, as amended, read with para 1.02 and 2.01 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-20, the Central Government hereby makes the following amendment in the Export policy of the onions. For the item description at Serial Number 51 and 52 of Chapter 7 of Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) Classification of Export and Import items, with immediate effect.” Also Read - India's COVID Tally Surpasses 53 Lakh-mark, Deaths Stand at 85,619; 5 Worst-hit States Report High Level of Recoveries | Key Points

It added, “The export of all varieties of onions as described is prohibited, with immediate effect. The provisions under Transitional Arrangement (Para 1.05 of the FTP 2015-20) shall not be applicable under this notification.”

Speaking to the Econominc Times. an official said that the decision was take in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. ““Rates have increased and there is shortage of onion in the domestic market. While this shortage is seasonal, a huge amount of exports were done in the last few months during the Covid-19 pandemic”, he added.