India has imposed a 40% customs duty on the export of onions to control the local price of the commodity, the finance ministry said in a statement.

The export duty, which came into effect on Saturday (August 19), will be in force until December 31, 2023, the ministry announced through a Customs notification.

The decision has been taken in the public interest, it added.

Nearly 975,000 tonnes of onions have been exported from the country between April 1 and August 4 fiscal year 2023/24. The top three importing countries in value terms are Bangladesh, Malaysia and the UAE, state-owned Press Trust of India reported.

The Indian government has already placed restrictions on the export of wheat and rice.  

Inflation stood at 7.44% in July 2023, exceeding the Reserve Bank of India's tolerance limit of 6% due to higher food and vegetable prices.

(Editing by Brinda Darasha;