Mumbai, Sep 16 (PTI) Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday termed the central government as 'anti-farmer' after it banned the export of onions.
Terming the decision as wrong, the NCP leader accused the Centre of committing 'great sin' of pushing farmers, who were already hit hard by COVID-19, into deeper trouble.
Maharashtra revenue minister and state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said onion prices have collapsed due to the ban on export, and asserted that his party will fight against this 'injustice' meted out to farmers.
The central government on Monday banned the export of all varieties of onions with immediate effect to increase availability and curb prices of the commodity in the domestic market.
'The Centre banned onion export at a time when cultivators were getting good prices for their produce. It is absolutely wrong. It is obvious that the Centre is anti- farmer,' Pawar alleged.
He also referred to NCP president Sharad Pawar raising concerns over the decision before Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday, seeking its reversal.
'Onion growers are already in trouble due to COVID-19.
Add to that, the Centre has committed this maha paap (great sin) of pushing the farmers into deeper trouble by banning export,' the deputy chief minister said while speaking at a programme in the NCP's head office here.
Maharashtra revenue minister Thorat also criticised the Centre's decision and said onion prices have collapsed by Rs 700 to Rs 800 per tonne due to the ban on export.
'Farmers in the state are tackling problems arising out of cyclone and floods, and the state government is doing all it can to help them. But, the Centre is not cooperating,' he said.
Earlier, the Centre allowed milk powder import when there was lakhs of tonnes of milk powder in the country. Due to this, milk prices came down, Thorat said.
'Now, when there is scope for farmers to earn some money due to onion export, the central government has stopped it. We will fight this injustice against farmers,' he said.
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