Protesting against government’s decision to impose stock limits

Indian traders stay away from onion auctions at Lasalgaon

Lasalgaon onion traders are protesting against the federal government’s decision to impose stock limits. This has led to onion auctions at Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) coming to a standstill as traders refused to participate, denouncing the Centre’s decision to impose stock limits of 25 tonnes on wholesalers and two tonnes on retailers till December 31 to control the soaring price of the bulb crop.

APMC officials told BusinessLine there was no auction and trading at Asia’s biggest onion market and a few other markets in Nashik district. According to the APMC, traders refused to participate in the auction and the farmers turned their back to the market. This is quite a problem, as some 15,000-30,000 tonnes of onions are traded daily at the market from where the supplies are sent across the country. Onion prices at Lasalgaon have a direct impact on retail and wholesale markets across the country.

Traders claimed that they had not boycotted the auction but were trying to sell the stock which they had already purchased. One trader said: “The government has put restrictions on the stock. There are no clear guidelines and hence we are trying to clear the stock before purchasing new ones”.

He said the retail prices will not be affected because of traders staying away from the auction. “Other onion markets in Maharashtra are operational and traders are participating in the auction,” he added.

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