With the country reeling under high onion prices, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to double the vegetableís procurement from the market and sell it through its own outlets at cheaper prices. While organised retail outlets and other shops in the state are selling onion for R75-80 a kg, the state government is selling the commodity for R30.
Currently, these state-run outlets are selling 6 tonne of big-sized onion and 1 tonne of small-sized onion every day, and this amount will be doubled, said Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa. "This initiative is aimed at beating the high inflationary trend and the state administration anticipates that prices of vegetables would come down in supermarkets," she said.
The chief minister, while intervening in a debate in the state assembly on Wednesday, blamed the Centre's policies for the price increase of essential products.
Jayalalithaa said that at the wholesale Koyambedu market, which is the key source of vegetables and flowers, big-sized onion are costing R60 a kg while the smaller ones are costing R75-80. At organised retail chains, they cost around R70 and R95, respectively. But the state government, through state-run Pannai Pasumai Nugarvor Kootturavu Kadai, is selling large-sized onion for R30 and small-sized onion for R60/kg.
The Tamil Nadu government had in June this year launched a number of farm-fresh consumer outlets to sell vegetables at lower-than-market rates. An official release then said that vegetables would be purchased directly from farmers and cooperative society purchase centres and brought to Chennai. As farmers are paid for the procured vegetables on a daily basis through the respective cooperative societies, the system eliminates middlemen.