The Government of India recently decided to remove onion from the list of essential commodities, and this decision was not welcomed by traders in Maharashtra. Addressing their queries, Nationalist Congress Party President, Sharad Pawar, said that the role of the central government regarding the issues pertaining to onion is contradictory.
He made the statement while he was discussed concerns with the farmers and traders during the tour of Nashik district. He met them at the Nashik Bhujbal Knowledge City Adgaon and understood their issues.
Sharing his thoughts, Sharad Pawar said that most of the onion production in the country is observed in Nashik, and the demand of the onions grown here is usually high in the market across India and internationally. The central government has taken the wrong decision, due to which farmers and traders in Nashik district will suffer the most. Decisions will have to be taken strategically to come up with solutions regarding the same.
Reports state that the decision in these matters should not be expected from the state government as the import and export policy is decided by the Centre. Traders in Nashik have been on a strike since the last three days and have informed that if the issues are not resolved, they will continue to remain on strike indefinitely. Officials at the centre had decided to ban onion export, thereby maintain a check on the prices. Supply to onion across the state and other locations was stopped due to the strike, and the decision is also affecting the farmers, as onions are perishable.
Markets in Nashik and other nearby localities have a supply of over 80,000 quintals of onions, and the centre had placed a limited of 25 MTs of onions for wholesalers and two MTs for retailers. This decision was rejected by the traders and the political parties across Maharashtra, and the impact of this led to the strike, which has affected the supply further.
Sharad Pawar asked the traders to reconsider the indefinite strike and has reassured them that they will stand by the traders and discuss the issues with the government officials. APMC markets, collectively, in these times, are facing loss over INR 10 crore in a day, and this needs to be resolved.
Besides this, the report states that the decision taken by the central government regarding onion storage and export has created confusion among the farmers. Onions bought by NAFED for INR 700 to Rs 800 are being resold in the market at a different price, and this has created competition for onion sales among farmers. Keeping this in mind, some of them along with their representative Hansraj Vadghule have demanded that the remaining stock of the onion should be distributed through NAFED as a part of the rationing scheme.