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Maharashtra government announces Rs 150 crore relief to onion farmers

A day after the Maharashtra government announced Rs 150 crore relief to onion farmers, BJP’s ruling ally Shiv Sena Friday took a dig at the Devendra Fadnavis-led dispensation saying it has “woken up from slumber too late”. The party said although the decision to provide relief to onion farmers was good, the government needed to ensure that its implementation was done in a speedy manner.

It also alleged that the onion farmers were yet to get the financial aid that was promised to them under a similar scheme announced by the government in 2016. The government Thursday announced Rs 150 crore as relief to onion farmers. The decision by the state cabinet came amid reports about farmers selling freshly harvested onions at as low as Rs 1.50 a kg in Maharashtra, the top producer of the bulb in the country.

The financial relief consists of an ex-gratia payment at the rate of Rs 200 per quintal (with an upper limit of 200 quintal per onion farmer) for the kitchen staple sold between November 1 and December 15, 2018.”Despite spending Rs 1,000 per quintal as input costs to grow onions, the farmers had to sell the kitchen staple at Rs 500 per quintal in the market. The prices further came down to Rs 100-105 per quintal, which is Rs 1-1.50 per kg,” the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. In September, the farmers had urged the government to take immediate steps to control the decline in onion prices. But their demands went unheeded, it alleged.

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