Nashik onion wholesalers on indefinite strike to protest export duty rise

Nashik APMC onion traders are on their second indefinite strike in a month, opposing a 40 per cent export duty increase until December

Representative image (photo: National Herald archives)
Representative image (photo: National Herald archives)


For the second time in a month, wholesale onion traders in the Nashik agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) in Maharashtra have launched an indefinite strike in protest against the 40 per cent hike in export duty for the crop until December.

The hike in the duty will make it difficult to export the vegetable and entails huge losses for the farming community, already reeling under a truant monsoon this year.

The strike move, sparking fears of shortages and hike in retail prices ahead of the festival season, evoked sharp reactions, with marketing minister Abdul Sattar warning of strict action against the traders.

Among the demands of the traders are rollback of the export duty on onions.

Last month, the onion wholesalers had staged a similar protest, but it was called off after an intervention by Union minister Bharti Pawar, who belongs to the district.

The protest last month was allegedly against the Centre's failure on the assurance that NAFED would purchase onions from farmers and the producers getting lower than the promised price of Rs 2,410/quintal.

This week opened with a little over 18,000 quintals of onions being sold at auction for around Rs 2,000/quintal at the Nashik APMCs.

The current retail prices of onion range from Rs 20-25 per kg, depending on size and quality, in urban centres like Mumbai.

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