Free Press Journal

Mumbai: Relief for citizens and farmers, onion traders call off their strike


Nashik: In what will come as good news to both the farmers and citizens, with onion traders calling off their strike.  Some onion markets will open on Monday and others on Tuesday after hectic discussions between the collector and onion traders’ representatives on Sunday evening. The strike began from Thursday evening as income tax officials raided some onion merchants.

Traders said that Pimpalgaon Baswant APMC would open on Monday while Lasalgaon APMC would begin on Tuesday as there were heavy rains and waterlogging of godowns. The district administration had earlier asked onion traders to start its auction from Monday at the major agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) here.

The authorities have warned that if the traders do not start the auction of onions at the APMCs in Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon Baswant, Umarane, Yeola and others, their permits would be cancelled, the district sub-registrar, Nilkanth Karhe, told PTI on Sunday. Notices in this connection have been served to the traders, he said.

The Income Tax department recently searched and surveyed 25 premises of seven major onion traders in Lasalgaon and surrounding areas in Nashik district, one of the largest onion markets in the country. Subsequently, the traders attached to various APMCs stopped onion auction as a mark of protest, Karhe said. He said the centre had asked them to send a detailed report on the matter. Last month, the auction (wholesale) prices of onions touched Rs 2,200 to Rs 2,700 per quintal but later the rates came down by about Rs 600 to Rs 700 per quintal.

A senior I-T official from Pune had earlier said they received information that onion traders in Lasalgaon and adjoining towns were hoarding the crop and planning to create an artificial scarcity in the market to inflate the commodity’s prices.