Nashik onion traders call off two-day strike

Nashik onion traders call off two-day strike

The Maharashtra State Co-operative Marketing Federation assured that their problems will be conveyed to the state government.

The local authorities have promised that they would take up their grievances to the state government.

The Maharashtra government in turn would be requested to write to the Centre saying the wholesalers should not be forced to sell onions below the cost price,  Nashik-based District Deputy Registrar Cooperative  Societies Bajirao Shinde told PTI.

"The two-day strike of onion traders in Nashik, which began today, has been called off," Nashik District Onion Traders Association's President Sohanlal Bhandari said.

He said the divisional director of the state marketing federation called a meeting of the striking traders this afternoon and assured the federation will convey their problems to the Maharashtra government.

"The strike has been called off. The wholesale markets in Nashik, Lasalgaon and Pimpalgoan will function smoothly from tomorrow," Shinde said.

Now, traders will start purchasing onions from all the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in the district from tomorrow, he added.

According to Bhandari, onion traders in the district, including Lasalgaon and Pimpalgaon Baswant, had decided not to purchase onions for two days from Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) to protest against Maharashtra government's directive that onions should not be sold over Rs 30 per kg.

"If we are buying onions at the rate of Rs 4,000-4,500 per quintal from farmers, how can we sell it for less than Rs 30 ?," he asked.

Currently, the wholesale price of onion in Nashik is ruling at Rs 37/kg. At Lasalgaon, Asia's biggest onion market, prices were ruling over Rs 43/kg.

Traders were also peeved at the income tax department raiding houses and godowns of four onion traders -- two in Lasalgaon and one each at Nashik and Pimpalgaon on Saturday.

The decision to boycott purchase of onions had been conveyed eariler in the day by the Nashik District Onion Traders Association in a letter to the APMCs.

Nashik and Lasalgaon region in Maharashtra supply large quantity of onions to Delhi, Kolkata, Bihar and North Eastern states.

Maharashtra is one of the largest producers of onion in the country with an average output of over 30 lakh tonnes.

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