Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], October 26 (ANI): Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday announced intervention of the state government in the open market to control the rising prices of onions in Kerala.
The shops under the Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco), the Kerala State Co-operatives Consumers' Federation (Consumerfed) and the Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) will sell onion at Rs 45 per kg from next month.
Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, "The Ministers of the Food & Civil Supplies, Co-operation, Agriculture and Finance Departments met today to take immediate action to control the rise in onion prices in the state. The meeting has decided that government agencies like Supplyco, Horticorp, and Consumerfed will buy 1,800 tonnes of onions from the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED).
"Supplyco will buy 1,000 tonnes of onions, Consumerfed 300 tonnes and Horticorp 500 tonnes, from NAFED. It will be available in the market from the first week of November and the sales are expected to start on November 3," he said.
Vijayan also informed that a letter has been sent to the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra requesting permission for the state government agencies to procure tomatoes, onions and potatoes directly from the procurement centres through a scheme run by the Central Government. The direct procurement would benefit the state immensely, he said.
He also announced a new financial assistance package for the debt-ridden Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
"So far, this government has provided a total of Rs. 4,160 crore to KSRTC as against the Rs. 1,220 crores during the five years of the previous UDF government," the Chief Minister said.
He said that an amount of Rs 255 crores will be released on an emergency basis to settle the salary recovery arrears and medical reimbursement of the employees of KSRTC, pending since 2016.
"As an interim relief for pay revision pending since 2012, an amount of Rs 1,500 per month will be paid to all permanent employees. Negotiations for salary revision will begin as part of the package. Empanelled employees will not be laid off, instead, they will be employed by a new subsidiary company of KSRTC, SWIFT which would run the premium services," said Chief Minister.
He also said that the interest of Rs 961 crore to be paid by KSRTC to the Government will be written off.
"The loan of Rs 3,194 crore will be converted into shares. The government will take the initiative of negotiating with the Bank consortium for a new loan package," Vijayan said. (ANI)