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Onions: Constant price fluctuation matter of grave concern, says Sharad Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Dubbing the Centre’s decision to halt onion exports while continuing with its imports ‘illogical’, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday urged the Narendra Modi government to pay more attention to the onion problem. The constant fluctuation in the prices, which had acutely hit the farmers in Nashik and elsewhere, was a matter of grave concern, he said.

Mr. Pawar was speaking in Nashik where he held an important meeting with onion cultivators and traders to mediate in the crisis that has arisen after auctions were suspended at the agriculture market produce committees (APMCs) earlier this week in protest against the Centre’s imposition of a stock limit.

As a result, traders in Nashik have been refusing to buy onions from farmers, with 15 APMCs and four sub-committees in the district, which is one of India’s most important onion-producing hubs, remaining shut on Monday.

The former Union Agriculture Minister told farmers that one must not expect too much from the State government as all decisions relating to import and export of onions were taken at the national level.

“Do not expect too much from the State government as the Centre takes all decisions regarding the import and export of onions. The State government has nothing to do with the action taken against the traders,” Mr. Pawar said.

Stating that Nashik ranked first in the country in terms of the quantity and quality of its onions, Mr. Pawar assured farmers and traders that he, along with two farmer and trader representatives, would soon be holding talks with the Central government on stock limits.

“Frequent fluctuations are a matter of grave concern which the Centre needs to pay urgent attention to…I appeal to all traders to start onion auctions instead of keeping the market shut in protest,” he said.

To check the soaring prices and provide relief to consumers, the Centre had last week imposed a stock holding limit on retail and wholesale traders till December 31.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 6:28:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/onions-constant-price-fluctuation-matter-of-grave-concern-says-sharad-pawar/article32963610.ece

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