Delhiites can heave a sigh of relief as agitating onion traders called off their strike after meeting chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday and assured prices of the essential commodities would ease by next week.
However, thanks to the strike call, there were drastically low arrivals on Wednesday, which might create temporary problem for retail market on Thursday.
Onion traders were protesting income tax (I-T) department raids at the mandi since Tuesday and had called for a day-long strike on Wednesday. However, after the meeting with the chief minister, traders from Azadpur, Gazipur, Okhla and Keshopur subzi mandis called off the strike.
“The chief minister has assured she will take up the issue of IT raids with union finance minister. Why IT department should be interested in checking hoarding?” said Rajendra Sharma, general secretary of the Tomato and Onion Merchants Association.
Dikshit later told reporters, “The traders have assured the arrivals would improve and the onion availability will lead to fall in prices from next week after fresh crop arrivals start.”
However, due to strike call on Wednesday, many farmers did not bring onions to Delhi.
“Only 72 tonnes of onions arrived at the Azadpur mandi, which sold at a high wholesale rate of Rs 40 - Rs 45 (best quality),” said Brahma Yadav, chairman, Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board.” But assured Jayashree Raghuraman, Delhi’s commissioner (food and supplies), “People can buy from Safal, Kendriya Bhandar or Nafed outlets that are selling subsidised onions at Rs 39 per kg.”