CHENNAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday instructed officials to take steps to make available certain vegetables and grocery items (prices of which have gone up) in ration shops as well as in all cooperative shops at less than market price. If needed, these items could be procured through the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation and Cooperative Societies, he added.
The chief minister said this while discussing steps for containing the increase in prices of essential commodities. He also said mobile vegetable shops should be pressed into service as was done during the pandemic by the municipal corporations and horticulture department.
Stalin also said hoarding of essential commodities should be monitored strictly and action taken against those who do so. Officials said the stock position of toor and urad dal would continue to be monitored and action taken against those who hoard them.
Stalin said he came to know that though prices of vegetables have gone up, farmers have not benefited. Uzhavar Sandhais’s functioning would help in setting right this situation. Agriculture department officials should take steps to increase the sale of vegetables through Uzhavar Sandhais.
Officials who took part in the meeting said tomatoes and small onions would be procured and sold through farm fresh outlets across the state and steps would be taken to sell toor dal and urad dal through cooperative department stores at prices lower than market rates. Besides, the sale of tomatoes would be increased to 300 ration shops.
Price of tomato touches Rs 110/kg in Chennai
In Chennai, the wholesale price of tomatoes at the Koyambedu market increased to Rs 110 from Rs 100. Traders said the arrival of tomatoes to the market decreased to 280 tonnes against the usual 800 tonnes, a bulk of which is procured from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Arrival has been around 300-400 tonnes since the prices started to go up.
“There is heavy demand in northern states as well and they have increased their procurement from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. We are unable to get more stock and the price will continue to be high for the next 15 days,” said M Thiagarajan, president of the Koyambedu Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Sellers’ Welfare Association. In the retail market, tomatoes were sold for up to `130 in the city.