BHOPAL: Onions procured at Rs eight per kilogram by the Madhya Pradesh government would be soon sold at Rs two per kilogram to the poor at fair prices shops under the public distribution system (PDS), as per directions issued by the Chief Minister.
"Onions will be sold to the poor at a rate of Rs two per kg through PDS shops. These directives were issued today by Chief Minister while interacting with the district collectors through video-conferencing," a public relations department officer said.
CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan also told the district collectors to increase the purchase centres according to requirement and based on the arrival of onion.
Chouhan also made it clear that there is no limit to the purchase of onions or other produce.
"Chouhan told collectors to procure the entire onion stock being brought by farmers," the official said. Earlier, in a bid to mollify agitating farmers, the state government had started procuring the onion at Rs eight per kilogram last week.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had made announcements about onion procurement on June 4 following his meeting with representatives of agitating farmers at Ujjain.
The Chief Minister, who went on an indefinite fast to calm frayed tempers of the farmers demanding a loan waiver and remunerative prices for their produce, had also announced a slew of schemes for their benefit.
Before ending his 28-hour-long fast yesterday, Chouhan announced a series of measures for farmers including that purchase of farm produce below the minimum support price (MSP) was a criminal act.
Chouhan had also announced to seek prior consent of farmers before acquisition of agricultural land, establishing 'Kisan Bazaar' (farmers' market) in all municipal bodies, adopting system of Amul Dairy Cooperatives to purchase milk, setting up a Rs 1,000-crore price stabilisation fund to purchase the farm produce at the MSP besides establishing a Agricultural Costs Marketing Commission to ensure better prices of the farm produce compared to the cost of crops.
The farmers' protest, which began on June 1, took a violent turn on June 6, when five persons were killed in police firing at Mandsaur.
The farmers' protest witnessed bandh and arson as the agitation spread in other districts of Madhya Pradesh.