IT dept searches premises of onion traders in Lasalgaon

IT dept searches premises of onion traders in Lasalgaon”

A senior IT official from Pune region said, "There was a tip-off that some of the onion traders from Lasalgaon in Nashik are trying to creating artificial scarcity of onions in the market by way of hoarding". The lowest wholesale prices of onion recorded for the day were Rs 500 per quintal.

After the Income Tax Department carried out surveys and searches in the offices, godowns and homes of seven onion traders in Nashik district of Maharashtra, the average wholesale onion price fell by 35% at the country's largest wholesale onion market at the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) on Thursday. These traders reportedly account for 30-40 per cent of total onion supply in Indian markets. Farmers made a decision to stop the auction went back with their produce instead of selling it at such low prices.

Jaydatta Holkar, chairman, Lasalgaon APMC in his statement to the ET informed that the IT raids had created a panic in the market.

On August 25, the Centre had released a statement in which it had made a decision to impose stock limits on onions and undertake various other measures in this regard.

The decline in prices has caused onion farmers to worry, as the produce from the kharif season will start to roll in bulk in the coming weeks.

In past few months, the prices of onions were showing an increasing trend in Nashik and other cities across the country.

This could be due to the traders hoarding onions besides tight supply and fall in output of the crop.

As per all India average retail price, onion prices have increased from Rs 15 per kg to Rs 28.94 per kg until last month. After the IT raids, there was a sudden drop in wholesale onion prices.

Agitated with the move, farmers stopped auctions as prices crashed by 30 per centRs After remaining subdued for over a year, onion prices had increased sharply in August, taking retail prices to Rs 50/kg.

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