MUMBAI: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday promised to apprise the Centre of the grievances of onion traders after they agreed to restart business in Lasalgaon.
The Chief Ministers Office (CMO) tweeted that during his meeting with the delegation, Thackeray also said that the state government will follow up with the Centre to increase onion stock holding limit and urged traders to start auction of the commodity in Maharashtra.
The Asia’s largest wholesale onion market was shut down for the last four days.
Onion traders had gone on an indefinite strike against the Centre’s decision of putting up a cap of up to 2 tonne and 25 tonne respectively for retailers and wholesale traders.
A delegation of onion traders met Uddhav who assured them of informing the central government to resolve their grievance.
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 tonnes, whereas wholesale traders are allowed to keep up to 25 tonnes, it said.
To register their protest against the Centre's move, traders kept off onion auctions in all 15 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (mandis) in Nashik, including at Lasalgaon APMC, Asia's biggest onion market.
"I am aware of the problems onion cultivating farmers are facing and I will raise the same before the Centre. The (state) government stands firmly with the farmers and will remain so," Thackeray said, according to the CMO.
Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also convinced the traders that he along with the delegations of traders and farmers will meet the central authorities.
Onion prices are on the rise because of a shortage of supply in the market.
In Lasalgaon, the onion supply has dried up by almost 40 to 50 per cent. Maharashtra contributes nearly 35 per cent of the country’s annual onion output.
Lasalgaon APMC chairman Suvarna Jagtap welcomed the decision of the traders to resume auction. She said that onion stocks were perishing due to the strike and consumers were forced to buy at a high price.
“The supply chain should not be disturbed. But, the central government should also understand the practical issues of the farmers and traders.”
Onion auction to restart from Friday
After Uddhav's request, traders in Nashik district have agreed to restart onion auctions from Friday, APMC sources said late Thursday evening.
In protest against the Centre's move, traders called off onion auctions in all 15 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (mandis) in Nashik, including at Lasalgaon APMC, Asia's biggest onion market.
(With PTI Inputs)