A day af­ter raid on traders, onion stalls down shut­ters

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI/ESTATE - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

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

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