Centre makes sure onion prices do not ‘tear-up’ upcoming Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh elections
Onion prices have shot up since the last two weeks due to less availability of onions in the market. The arrival of the new stock of onions, according to experts, has been delayed due to the recent rains in Maharashtra. With onion prices often becoming a politically sensitive issue, the BJP is wary of its impact on the crucial elections.pune Updated: Oct 26, 2017 00:08 IST
Ahead of elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government at the Centre has become overcautious about the rising prices of onion and has been intervening in the onion markets in Maharashtra to control the prices.
Onion prices have shot up since the last two weeks due to less availability of onions in the market. The arrival of the new stock of onions, according to experts, has been delayed due to the recent rains in Maharashtra. With onion prices often becoming a politically sensitive issue, the BJP is wary of its impact on the crucial elections.
According to traders, the Nashik district collector has instructed them to submit the daily stock report to the administration.
Facing increasing intervention from the government, the Maharashtra and Agriculture Produce Market Committee members have appealed to the government to not interfere in the onion markets if the farmers are getting good rates.
Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) chairman Jaydutt Holkar while speaking to Hindustan Times said that the government should stop pressurising the traders about maintaining no stock of onions. “The district collector has asked traders to submit the daily stock of onions. As Lasalgaon is the main APMC, onions are being supplied to the entire country and considering this, traders are likely to keep stock of the commodity,” said Holkar.
Holkar termed the government’s action improper saying that when farmers are getting good prices, the government is trying to control it. If the government’s policies would control the onion prices, farmers would divert to other crops and it would create more problems in the future.
Onion prices in the wholesale market have reached the range of ₹2,500 to ₹3,000 per quintal in the Lasalgaon and other APMCs in Maharashtra. As the prices in the wholesale markets have gone up, its impact is being felt at retail markets with prices going up to ₹40 per in some cities.
Onion trader Bajirao Dighe from Pune APMC, said, “As there is less supply of onion, prices are high. Due to delayed monsoon in most of the onion growing areas, crops got damaged. The new crop of the onion will start arriving from the month of December. Considering this, there are chances that the onion prices would remain high.”
Pune wholesale trader association president Vilas Bhujbal said that the farmers have very limited stock of onions.
Rupesh Sawant, a farmer from Nashik district who has limited stock of onion, said that last week he got ₹3,300 per quintal but as the government is pressurising traders, rates went down to ₹3,000 per quintal on Wednesday.