Onion traders firm on strike; auctions in 17 APMC markets to remain closed

Sep 22, 2023 12:08 AM IST

The indefinite strike by onion traders in Nashik district continues as no resolution was reached during a meeting with the district guardian minister. Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the traders' demands. The traders are protesting against increased export duty and restrictions on the sale of NAFED. The Nashik APMC has threatened action against the protesting traders.

The indefinite strike called by the onion traders in Nashik district looks set to continue in the absence of any resolution to the traders’ problems during the meeting held by Nashik district guardian minister, Dada Bhuse, at the Nashik collector’s office on Thursday. Also, a meeting has been scheduled on Tuesday with state agriculture and marketing minister, Abdul Sattar, to find a solution to the traders’ demands.

Onion traders concerned over export duty (HT FILE PHOTO)
Onion traders concerned over export duty (HT FILE PHOTO)

Officials of the Onion Traders’ Association present at the meeting chaired by Bhuse at the Nashik collector’s office; raised concerns such as increased export duty and the restrictions on the sale of NAFED. A letter was submitted to the chief minister regarding various issues faced by the onion traders.

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Nashik District Onion Traders’ Association president, Khandu Kaka Deore, said, “Today, we had a meeting with guardian minister Bhuse and conveyed the onion traders’ issues such as increased export duty and restrictions on the sale of NAFED. As nothing is in the hands of Bhuse or the state government however, it is a central government policy level decision so we will continue our protest, and all auctions of onion in 17 APMC markets across Nashik district will remain closed.”

Whereas Bhuse said during the meeting, “A meeting has been called on September 26 with the minister of commerce, Abdul Sattar, as per the demand of the onion traders. Hence, there was an appeal to announce in today’s meeting that the protest should be withdrawn. The traders said that a meeting will be held and after taking a decision, it will be announced tomorrow.”

“Many of the onion traders’ demands are related to the central and state governments, and a meeting will be held with the minister of agriculture on Tuesday. However, since this issue will be resolved by discussion, the only way is to discuss with the traders again and again and find a solution,” Bhuse said.

Meanwhile, the Nashik APMC has decided to take action against the traders who have stopped the auctions since the last two days. Talking about this issue, Balasaheb Darade, chairman of the Traders’ Association at Lasalgaon APMC, said, “We are ready to face any action taken by the APMC. We have already surrendered our licenses to the APMC so they cannot do anything now. Our demands are straight which are affecting all the onion traders so the protest will go on.”

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