Onion traders in Delhi call off strike (Lead)

January 12th, 2011 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Wholesale onion traders here have called off their strike after they met Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Wednesday afternoon. She assured them of no more harassment by way of raids on their premises.Traders said that Dikshit agreed that there was no hoarding of onions.

The traders, peeved at being held responsible for the rising price of the commodity, had gone on indefinite strike Tuesday afternoon saying raids by the authorities to counter hoarding were only adding insult to injury.

“We have called off our strike after meeting the CM (chief minister). She said that she will talk to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of the raids by income tax sleuths and assured that there will be no more hoarding-related raids,” Rajan Sharma, general secretary of the Chamber of Azadpur Fruit and Vegetable Traders, told IANS.

“She also asked us to procure as many onions as possible and sell them at reasonable rates to ease some pressure on Delhiites. The situation is expected to come under control within a week,” Sharma added.

Raids were carried out across Delhi, including the wholesale vegetable market at Azadpur Mandi and its suburbs, Monday by the Income Tax department as part of a nationwide crackdown against hoarding of onions in a bid to curb its rising prices.

The traders argued that the government was defaming them by assuming that they were hoarding large quantity of onions which caused the price of the commodity to spiral upwards.

Onion prices shot up across the country after crops in Nashik in Maharashtra were spoilt due to untimely heavy rains. The authorities are now trying to nail any possible hoarding which may further aggravate the price-situation.

The IT department last week conducted similar search operations in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and few other states.

The wholesale price of onion is ruling at around Rs.40-47 per kg while the retail price is around Rs.60 per kg in the national capital.

–Indo-Asian News service

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