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July, 15

Google: Nashik onion traders call strike over export duty | India News

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NASHIK: The Nashik district onion traders’ association started an indefinite strike on Monday to protest the Centre’s decision to impose 40% export duty on onions. A majority of over 400 onion traders in the district, who have Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) licences, have stopped taking fresh orders from bulk buyers from different states.
Of the 15 APMC mandis in Nashik, 13, including the one at Lasalgaon, remained shut on Monday. Transactions amounting to 30 crore were affected as onion auctions did not take place. On an average, more than 1.5 lakh tonnes of onions are auctioned at these 15 APMCs every day.
Around 250-300 containers, each containing 28 tonnes of onions, are sent out from Nashik to other states each day. Traders said the stock they had with them would be exhausted within the next 2-3 days. Therefore, they have stopped taking fresh orders, as they are unsure of the resumption of onion auctions at APMCs.
Traders warned there might be a scarcity and the wholesale prices of the bulbs might increase if the auctions did not resume.
When contacted, Nandkumar Daga, an office-bearer of the Nashik district onion traders’ association, said the association members had decided to stop the auctions indefinitely to protest against the Centre’s decision.
Khandu Deore, president of the association, said onion containers were stuck at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust following the Centre’s decision. He urged the government to clear all the consignments that are already in the process of being exported.
Meanwhile, farmer groups in Nashik staged road blockades at two locations. The Sharad Joshi-founded Shetkari Sanghatna staged a protest near the Yeola APMC on the Manmad-Ahmednagar state highway, causing a traffic jam for an hour, while the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna staged a sit-in at Vani in Dindori taluka.
“There is already a drought-like situation due to inadequate rain and kharif crops have been affected in parts of the district. In the past few months, farmers have sold onions at 500 per quintal, and have incurred heavy losses,” said Santu Patil-Zambre, former north Maharashtra chief of Shetkari Sanghatna. “Farmers had just started fetching an average price of 2,100 per quintal. And now the Centre has imposed a 40% export duty on onions. This may lead to a drop in wholesale onion prices, causing further losses to the farmers.”
Meanwhile, Union minister of state for health and family welfare Bharati Pawar, who is the MP from Dindori in Nashik, said she would seek commerce minister Piyush Goyal’s intervention to provide some relief to the farmers.
Speaking to reporters, Pawar said the government had imposed the export duty to meet the domestic requirements and stabilise the prices, but she would meet Goyal and urge him to find a way out so that farmers did not suffer.





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