Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday wrote to the Centre, urging it to increase the stockholding limit to 1,500 MT for traders who purchase onion in the APMCs from the farmers directly.
"Presently, traders have stopped purchasing onion from farmers because of the very limited stock limit. The imposed stock limits have caused severe hardship to onion farmers as well as traders in the state of Maharashtra," Thackeray wrote in a letter to Centre.
The government on Oct 23 had imposed stockholding limits of up to 25 MT and 2 MT on wholesalers and retailers, respectively, till the end of this year after retail prices of the vegetable spiralled.
In major spot markets, onion is now being sold at 100-120 rupees a kg, almost double the price a month ago. The Centre has, however, exempted importers from the stockholding limits. The request from the Maharashtra chief minister comes after a delegation of farmers and traders held talks with him on the matter on Thursday.
In addition to the demand for increasing stock holding limits, Thackeray also demanded that the time limit for the grading/packing from the date of purchase of onion in APMC be increased up to seven days. At present, the limit is capped to three days.
Earlier, the government had imposed a blanket ban on the export of all varieties of onion and relaxed fumigation norms for imports to augment domestic supply.
Incessant rains during Aug-Sep had damaged the standing Kharif crop in key onion growing states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka, which resulted in a delay of a month in fresh arrivals, leading to a rise in prices of the vegetable.
(With inputs from Cogencis)