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Onion prices spiral even as several quintals lie rotting

06:52 AM Jun 02, 2019 |

Pushed to a corner, the Centre is coaxed to review ban on export

FPJ POLITICAL BUREAU Mumbai

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Onion prices in Maharashtra have shot up yet again this week due to a supply crunch owing to growersalt39 refusal to market t

heir yield in protest against a ban on exports imposed last week, an onion dealer said on Wednesday.

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In the Mumbai wholesale market, onions cost Rs. 13- 15 a kg. In the retail market, their price was Rs. 25- 26 a kg.

All the onion markets in Nasik district of Maharashtra have shut shop since September 9 protesting against the export ban.

Lakhs of quintals of onions are rotting in the market yard, sources said. ” Wholesale prices of onions have shot up by more than 50 percent, while the retail prices have gone up by 80 percent this week as compared to the last week,” Sohanlal Bhandari, president of onion exportersalt39 association, said.

Onion markets throughout the state, especially in Nashik which contributes 60% of the countrys onion requirement, remained closed for the fifth day after onion growers refused to sell their produce in protest against the export ban.

Meanwhile, amid farmersalt39 protest against the onion export ban, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister, K V Thomas on Wednesday said the government may review the decision at the next meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers ( EGoM) on Food. He may also come to Mumbai to take stock of the situation, said sources.

The export ban issue rocked the state cabinet with some ministers pressuring the CM to take active interest in revoking the ban. CM Prithviraj Chavan informed his cabinet colleagues that the government had already dispatched a delegation led by state Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. Accompanied by a delegation of MPs and MLAs, Vikhe- Patil called on various Union ministers seeking removal of ban on onion exports to protect farmersalt39 interest.

The CM told the cabinet that the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had no role in imposing the ban. ” in fact, he opposed the banalt39, Chavan said.

Patil along with legislators across political parties met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Food Minister K V Thomas and asked them to review the ban.

” On the issue of onion export ban, the Finance Minister was quite considerate and he assured us that the government will reconsider the ban after taking stock of onions in the country,” Patil said at a press conference after meeting the Union Ministers.

Other Union ministers also assured the delegation that all possible efforts would be taken to ensure the interest of the farmers, he added. Patil said that after the ban, onion prices have declined in markets are hurting the farmers.

BRACE FOR TEARS

In the Mumbai wholesale market, onions cost Rs. 13- 15 a kg. In the retail market, their price was Rs. 25- 26 a kg œ All the onion markets in Nasik district of Maharashtra have shut shop since September 9 protesting against the export ban. Lakhs of quintals of onions are rotting in the market yard, sources said œ Onion markets throughout the state, especially in Nashik which contributes 60% of the countrys onion requirement, remained closed for the fifth day after onion growers refused to sell their produce in protest against the export ban

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