PALAKKAD: It’s yet another Onam and the public distribution outlets have been enlivened to distribute essential commodities at fair prices to the public. The FMCG sector, electronic, textile and the jewellery retailers have begun an ad splurge to woo the customers with product campaigns, discount offers, star presence and assured gifts to catch the attention of the Malayali so that he is spoilt for choices.
The Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation through Supplyco has opened 1,441 fairs in the state which include six metro fairs, 10 town fairs and 19 special fairs. The public were being provided 13 items at subsidised rates, as per the figures given from its Kochi office.
The officials said that the items will be available at 20 per cent below the market price. The Kudumbashree will be putting up stalls to market the produce of its all women micro-enterprises. “We intend to put up 1,200 fairs in the state and expect a turnover of Rs 50 crore. There will be fairs at all district headquarters, all panchayats and in blocks where community development societies are active. The turnover during Onam last year was Rs 35 crore,” said state programme officer (Marketing) of Kudumbashree Priya Paul.
The Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) earlier had planned to put up stalls for Onam in six districts - Kasargod, Kannur, Palakkad, Thrissur, Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram. All these outlets, except in Thiruvananthapuram and Malappuram have been opened, said VFPCK Chief Executive Officer S Sivaprasad.
Now, following a meeting with Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan it has been decided to open outlets in all Assembly constituencies of the state which will be open from August 30 to September 6 and the prices of items will be 30 per cent below the market rate.
The Horticorp has also planned to set up mega fairs named ‘Ona niravu,’ 350 stalls and 42 mobile outlets to market the vegetable and fruit produce procured by the district procurement centres, from self help-groups and growing hubs like Kanthaloor and Vattavada. There is a discount of 20 per cent currently and from August 30, it will be raised to 30 per cent on the produce available to the public, said managing director of Horticorp V V Pushpagandhan. He said that the Horticorp has asked for an overdraft of Rs 1.20 crore from the banks to offset the losses sustained owing to market intervention. In all, at least Rs 2 crore overdraft would be needed for Onam, he added. He said that the turnover of Horticorp annually was to the tune of Rs 60 crore of which Rs 30 crore came from Onam sales alone. The month-long fair of Consumerfed began on August 7 and will continue till September 6 and has 13 items on sale at discount rate of up to 50 per cent. At the fair, each family can get a week’s ration of 2 kg of raw rice and 6 kg of other varieties of rice. Consumers can also buy sugar, black gram, tuvar dal, chillies and red cow peas as well as a litre of coconut oil, along with half kg each of moong dal, urad dal and coriander. Those who produce their ration cards can buy the items in proportion to the number of members in their family, said Consumerfed officials.