Chandigarh onion traders cut down orders fearing harassment

Have onions become life threatening?
Chandigarh, Oct 24: Even as onion price has surged to Rs 80 a kg, traders here have cut down on the fresh orders for the crop as they fear harassment by authorities in the name of checking hoarding, a commission agents' body said today.

Centre had asked for tough action against onion hoarders which led to scarcity

"Traders have cut down the size of orders for the supply of onion into the city as they fear that they will be harassed in the name of checking to curb hoarding by concerned department officials despite the fact that this crop cannot be stored for several days," Chandigarh Arthiya Association President Digvijay Kapoor said here today.

"Crop is already short in supply from growing areas, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, how can one hoard the crop. Whatever arrivals we receive they are sold into the market," he said, adding that panicked traders were reluctant in investing huge some of money in onion.

Traders said against normal arrival of 80-90 tonnes of onions per day in Union Territory Chandigarh, the arrival of crop has shrunk to 30-40 tonne per day. Against the daily arrival of 7-8 trucks laden with onion, traders are bringing only 2-3 trucks per day, said onion trader Shashi Bhushan Goyal.

The Centre had asked for tough action against onion hoarders which had led to artificial scarcity and sharp escalation of prices. Traders also pointed out that 8-10 per cent wastage during transit is also adding to their cost.

The wholesale prices of good quality onion are ruling at Rs 55-60 per kg while others are fetching Rs 42-45 per kg, traders said. In retail market, onion is available at Rs 80-90 per kg.

Traders also said the onion which came from Afghanistan did not find acceptability in the market as its quality was inferior and it was big in size. "That is why traders did not sell onion here brought from Afghanistan," said Goyal.

Last month, Punjab based traders had imported onion from Afghanistan through Attari-Wagah land route in Amritsar in the wake of skyrocketing prices.


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