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Control on onion goes

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, OCT. 20. The Government today took onion off the list of commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, thus freeing it from trade and stock restrictions. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting.

This has been done as the production and availability of onion in the last five years had been "satisfactory." Onion came in the list after large-scale exports affected the domestic market a few years ago.

However, in the last five years, the price trend did not indicate any abnormality, the Cabinet was told.

The Government had decided to do away with controls such as licensing of dealers, limits on stock and restrictions on movement that hamper the growth of the agriculture sector and promotion of food processing industries.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, also agreed that facilitating free trade and movement of foodgrains would enable farmers to get the best prices for their produce, achieve price stability and ensure availability in deficit areas.

As onion is a perishable commodity, storage problems,coupled with controls and interventions, have often led to distress sale by farmers in several States.

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