Auctions at Asia's largest onion market halted after income tax raids

Topics Onion | auction | IT raids

Farmers are already miffed because of a ban on exports of the kitchen staple.

Income tax raids on traders have resulted in auctions at Lasalgaon, Asia's largest onion market, getting halted for two consecutive days, sources said on Thursday.

Trading will not be conducted on Friday as well because it is 'Amavasya' or no moon day, which is considered inauspicious.

The Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) works half-days on Saturdays but traders are unsure of the auctions on that day as well, while Sundays are weekly offs, which means full-fledged resumption can happen only on Monday.

Income tax officials raided 10 onion traders in Lasalgaon on Wednesday for suspected tax evasion, resulting in immediate halt in trading activities. The market remained shut on Thursday too as the officials continued to be on the premises doing paperwork, they said.

Farmers are already miffed because of a ban on exports of the kitchen staple.

Shetkari Sangharsh Sanghatana founder president Hansraj Vadghule has given a memorandum to Lasalgaon APMC Chairman Suvarna Jagtap demanding that the APMC make efforts to start the auctions.

He alleged that there is a pattern where the raids happen only when the prices go up, like they did recently due to the rains, and added that farmers are confused whether to get their produce to the market or not, with onions being a perishable commodity.

Farmers will suffer a huge loss if auctions are not started immediately, Vadghule told PTI, warning that they will otherwise organise state-wide agitations by blocking roads and railways.

On Wednesday, onions were brought to the APMC but in the absence of auctions, they were taken to Vinchur, a sub-committee market 3 kms away, for sale. Therefore, the farmers did not suffer much inconvenience, sources said.

Meanwhile, Jagtap said there will be a half-day session on Saturday, but full-fledged auctions will begin only from Monday.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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