Nashik:- For the second time in a month, wholesale onion traders in the Nashik APMCs launched an indefinite strike in protest against the 40 per cent hike in export duty for the crop till December.
The hike in the export 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, among others.
Last month, the onion wholesellers had staged a similar protest but it was called off after the intervention by Union minister Bharti Pawar who belongs to the district.
The protest last month was allegedly against the Centre’s failure on its assurance that NAFED would purchase onions from farmers and the producers getting lower than the promised price Rs 2,410/quintal.
This week opened with a little over 18,000 quintals of onion being sold in auction for around Rs 2,000/quintal at the Nashik APMCs.
The current retail prices of onion range between Rs 20-25 per kg, depending on size and quality, in urban centres like Mumbai.