A day after raid on traders, onion stalls down shutters

Nashik : Onion traders, peeved over Income Tax raids on some traders, have struck work stalling the auction of onion in Nashik district causing immense losses to farmers.

The Income Tax (IT) department on Thursday raided as many as 25 premises of seven major onion traders in Lasalgaon and surrounding areas in Nashik district, one of the largest onion markets in the country. Officials said thtat the operation would continue for two to three days.

The raids come after wholesale inflation rose to a four-month high of 3.24 per cent in August with prices of food items, especially onions and vegetables, soaring.

The administration has directed the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) to start purchasing onion through other means and to cancel the licences of the traders who did not participate in onion trading.

Lasalgaon APMC chairman Jaydatt Holkar said that he was discussing the issue with the traders.

“APMC office bearers are holding meetings with the traders and appealing them to purchase onions,” he said.

Traders in Nashik stated that they were being monitored by several Central and state departments.

The wholesale onion prices rose to Rs 28 per kg in August but came down in September to Rs 10 per kg. However, though the prices kept going down in Nashik, it remained high in metro cities and other states which depend upon Maharashtra’s onion giving doubts of hoarding.

On Thursday, six out of 16 wholesale mandis here have been shut for onion trading after a sudden steep fall in prices to Rs 11/kg.

The average wholesale price of onion in Nasik, which was ruling at Rs 20/kg early this month, has now declined to Rs 11/kg, as per official data.

Wholesale rates in other onion markets in Maharashtra have also fallen. In Lasalgaon, Asians biggest wholesale market for onion, rates were ruling at Rs 15/kg on Thursday.

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Free Press Journal