Onions are likely to be available at ration shops across the city from next week. The agriculture marketing department agreed to allot 5 quintal onions per shop during a meeting held at Nabanna on Monday.
There are 934 ration shops or fair price shops in the city. The onion price at these shops has not been fixed, but sources said it would be sold for less than Rs 60 per kilogram.
“We have given clearance to the proposal mooted by the agriculture-marketing department and asked for at least 467 tonnes of onions. Now, everything depends on supply from the department,” said food and civil supplies principal secretary, Manoj Agarwal, who attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the onion price showed no sign of immediate dip and it is being sold for Rs100- 110 per kilogram.
However, fresh harvested onions from Nasik are likely to hit the city markets in the middle of December and this may stabilise the price, according to Kamal De, West Bengal Vendors’ association president. The agriculture-marketing department, which received good response for selling onions at its Sufal Bangla stores, decided to increase the supply of onions through ration shops.
“The food and civil supplies department has a proven distribution mechanism to reach out to all sections of consumers,” said a senior officer of agriculture and marketing department.
“We have no problem in selling onions through the fair price shops. I have had words with the members of ration dealers’ associations and they have agreed to distribute for the interests of public. It is only a matter of supply. The agriculture marketing department has already procured onions from the Centre,” said state food and civil supplies minister, Jyotipriya Mallick.
“We are ready to render free service to consumers without demanding any margin or commission. But at the same time, we are worried about loss and criticism for inferior quality, which we had to face for potatoes in 2014. We want the state government to ensure the quality of onion stock and compensation to dealers for loss,” said Biswambhar Basu, general secretary, All India Fair Price Shop Dealers’ Federation.
Source: Times of India