Pak onions arrive, but Sena stir could raise prices

  • G. Mohiuddin Jeddy, Hindustan Times, Navi Mumbai
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  • Updated: Dec 29, 2010 02:35 IST

The wholesale Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) market at Vashi received 4 tonnes of onions imported from Pakistan early on Tuesday. Traders said the onions were sold in a matter of minutes.

The country has been facing a sudden rise in onion prices caused by the unseasonal rain that destroyed most of the kharif crop that is harvested in November.

In many markets, onion prices had touched Rs 90 per kg, leading to an outcry from consumers. The Central Government responded by importing onions from Pakistan, banning onion exports and doing away with import duty on them.

Uttam Sawant, of Om Traders, which had imported some of the onions, said. “Our stock was gone in no time. Additional imports will be called in soon.”

The onions were sold at Rs 34-35 per kg.

However, the consumer’s dilemma is far from over. While the government action has reduced prices to some extent, they could rise again due to a political agitation being staged by the Shiv Sena in Pune.

The protest over the shifting of a statue of Dadaji Konddeo, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s teacher, from its spot in the historic Lal Mahal.

Sena activists blocked the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which is used by truckers to transport onions from places such as Chandvad, Dudgoan and Nashik to Mumbai. This could lead to a supply shortage, again raising prices. Roshan Bhateja, a trader, said: “We might face a problem over the next day or two. Hardly any trucks made it to the market later in the day.”

 

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