Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar blamed Wednesday the central government’s policies for the spiralling prices of onion. Sharad Pawar said he would speak to the Centre about the stock limit imposed on the commodity traders.
Traders kept off the onion auction in most of the Agriculture Produce Market Committees in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, including at Lasalgaon APMC, Asia’s biggest onion market, for the third consecutive day Wednesday to protest against the Centre-imposed stock limit on the kitchen staple.
Maharashtra is one of the top producers of onion and Nashik is a major hub of the commodity.
Pawar said a comprehensive policy is needed regarding lifting of the export ban and stock limit of onion, and it should cover interests of all stakeholders.
“Discussions will be held soon with authorities concerned at the Centre regarding this. Though the farmers and traders are suffering due to these decisions, stopping auctions cannot be an option. Therefore, onion auctions at the APMCs should be started,” he told a gathering of onion growers and traders.
Onion is being sold at Rs 80 to Rs 100 per kg at retail markets in Mumbai and in others cities across India.
To contain onion prices, the Centre last week imposed stock holding limit on retail and wholesale traders till December 31 to improve the domestic availability of the key kitchen staple and provide relief to consumers. Retailers can stock up onion up to 2 tonne, whereas wholesale traders are allowed to keep up to 25 tonne, it said.
To register their protest against the Centre’s move, traders kept off onion auctions for the last two days in all 15 Agriculture Produce Market Committees in Nashik, including at Lasalgaon APMC, Asia’s biggest onion market.