Guwahati, Saturday, December 4, 2010
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Potato, onion traders deny black marketing
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Dec 3 – The Guwahati Onion and Potato Merchants’ Association (GOPMA) has dismissed allegations of ‘black marketing and syndicate’ in the supply of onion into Guwahati market and attributed the price rise to the poor crop production in Nasik and Rajasthan, the two major sources of onion production in the country.

 “The quality of the crop, this season, is not up to the mark and even though the size of the arrival in Guwahati has remained more or less same, a large portion of the goods still comes in spoiled form,” said Vinod Jain, secretary, GOPMA, while talking to media persons today.

Around 75 tonnes of onion arrive in Guwahati every day for consumption. The present wholesale rate of onion in Guwahati market ranges from Rs 30-35.

“It is impossible to run a monopoly business in the present competitive market. If a study is done comparing the rates of onion across the country taking into account the transportation charges, things would be crystal clear,” he stated.

Briefing the media about the wholesale rates of onion in some of the major towns, he informed that in Delhi the rate ranges between Rs 20-28 per kg, while in Nasik and Rajasthan, the rates are Rs 10-27 per kg, and Rs 22-25 respectively.

“If the freight, be through railway or road, is taken into account, the total costing goes high, though the profit margin of the traders remain the same, if not less,” Jain said, hoping that the crop scenario is likely to improve after the next fortnight.

“If any organization, be it Government or non-Government can relax the burden of the freight, even we can sell onion at Rs 15 per kilogram in Guwahati,” he pointed out.

“A section of vested interest circles, who does not have the idea of the ground reality, are trying to misguide the consumers by comparing the market price of Nasik with Guwahati. But the fact remains that the onion production in Nasik has been hit due to untimely rain and the quality of the same goods by the time is brought to Guwahati deteriorates to a large extent,” Jain stated.

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