MUMBAI: Nashik district administration has slapped notices against the Onion traders giving an ultimatum that their licences would be cancelled if the auctions are not resumed by Monday, sources have said.
The notices have been served to the traders from the registrar’s office after the auctions in all major Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yards in the district remained hampered for two days after the IT raids on major traders on Thursday. “This is a crucial time for the onion farmers and if traders are engaging into hoarding and suspending auctions we shall take all possible measures against it,” said B Radhakrishnan, district collector of Nashik.
The farmers who feared that the onion markets were crashing and loss of produce due to rainy weather had resorted to agitation and had brought onions in larger quantities to the market. However, due to panicky situation amongst the traders after the IT raids, the auctions remained hampered and onion rates crashed by around 35 per cent in past two days, said the APMC sources.
On Wednesday, the per quintal prices of onion at Lasalgaon APMC were around `1400. They fell to around `1000 on Thursday and further slide down to `500 on Friday, said Jaydatta Holkar, APMC Chairman of Lasalgaon.
IT officials have raided two of the biggest traders in Lasalgaon. They have a capacity to buy out 30 per cent of the onion that comes in to the APMC. Since their trading has been stopped, the market is down, he added. He also blamed the farmers saying that some of the farmers didn’t want to sell their onions at such a low price and hence stopped the auctions.
Meanwhile, the raids are still on and relatives of some of the traders too might have to face the interrogation, said tax officials. The places where raids were conducted have increased from 24 to over 30 in past couple of days. Since the trading in APMCs remains closed on weekends, the onion traders are expected to huddle together tomorrow to decide on conducting auctions on Monday.