Bhubaneswar, Aug 17:
After failing to take appropriate measures in time to prevent onion prices from going through the roofs, the state government today directed district collectors to intervene in the market to minimize the gap between wholesale and retail price in the state.
“You are requested to go for market intervention to soften the price hike situation and minimize the gap between wholesale and retail price in district/sub-districts and block headquarters in your districts for the interest of bona fide consumers. Before market intervention, you may track the source price/wholesale price and the local retail price,” Food supplies and Consumer Welfare secretary Madhusudan Padhi told collectors in a letter today.
The letter also said that select PDS retail outlets (the number may be proportionate to the population of the area) along with Fair Price Shops (FPSs) in these areas may be directed to purchase onion from the local wholesale traders at a negotiated rate and sell it through their retail outlets on a no-profit-no-loss basis. The FPSs cannot charge more than Rs 2 a kg over the wholesale price to cover their costs, the letter said.
The government initiative to provide onion at the rate of Rs 46/kg at select outlets would continue till September 30, when the prices of onion are expected to start falling.