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India's largest onion market shut down after raids

The woes of Maharashtra’s onion sector do not seem to end. Almost all the 14 agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) in Nashik, including Lasalgaon — the country’s largest wholesale market for the bulb—, Pimpalgaon, Yeola and Chandwad have been shut since Thursday after the income tax department carried out searches in the godowns and homes of seven onion traders of the area.

Onion prices, which were trending at Rs 1,400 per quintal, suddenly crashed to Rs 900 per quintal, leading to a stop in auctions at Lasalgaon on Thursday.

Lasalgaon APMC chairman Jaydutta Holkar said that the searches were being carried by the I-T department to cross-check the sales records and stock positions in addition to the income of these traders.

As many as 25 premises of seven major onion traders in Lasalgaon and surrounding areas in Nashik district were raided by the income tax officials. Two of the traders are from Lasalgaon and one each from Pimpalgaon, Yeola, Umrane and Chandwad APMCs. 

These traders have the capacity to purchase 30% of the total arrivals in the market. The searches are still in progress and therefore the markets are shut as a precautionary measure. On Wednesday, arrivals were to the tune of 8000 quintal at an average price of Rs 1400 per quintal.

The government is closely monitoring the onion prices and availability in Maharashtra.

1 RS = 0.016 USD

Publication date: 9/18/2017


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