Amid protests by farmers and traders against the Centre’s decision to impose 40% export duty on onions, Maharashtra Minister Dada Bhuse has claimed it would make no difference if people did not consume the staple vegetable for two to four months.
The State PWD minister, however, also said on Monday that the decision to impose export duty should have been taken with proper coordination.
The Union government on August 19 imposed 40% duty on the export of onions to check price rise and improve supplies in the domestic market.
The Finance Ministry through a notification imposed the 40% export duty on onions till December 31, 2023.
“When you use a vehicle worth ₹10 lakh, you can buy produce at a higher rate by ₹10 or ₹20 than the retail rate. Those who cannot afford to buy onion, it would make no difference if they do not eat it for two-four months,” Mr. Bhuse said.
He also said the decision to impose export duty should have been taken with proper coordination.
“Sometimes onion fetches rates of ₹200 per quintal while sometimes it attracts ₹2,000 per quintal. A discussion can be held and an amicable solution can be found,” Bhuse said.
Earlier on Monday, traders decided to close onion auctions indefinitely in all the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in Nashik, including at Lasalgaon, which is the largest wholesale onion market in India.
The Nashik District Onion Traders Association had given the call to not take part in onion auctions indefinitely till the Centre rolls back its decision, sources said.
Several farmers and traders held protests across the district seeking a rollback of the export duty.