With onion prices continuing to bring tears to the eyes of common people, the West Bengal government on Monday started selling the bulb at ration shops here and adjacent districts at heavily subsidised rates.
Every family with ration card was given 1 kg onion at Rs 59. In the local markets, the vegetable is being sold for Rs 130-140 a kg, which is a seven-time increase in four months. Over the past couple of weeks, the state government had been selling onion at Rs 59 a kg from its Sufal Bangla stalls.
"In making onion available to people at this rate, the government is giving subsidy of Rs 50 per kg," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said and added, the pod was being sold by 430 Khadya Sathi (ration shop) dealers in Kolkata and suburbs.
Altogether 105 self-help groups (SHGs) in the 24 Parganas North, 24 Parganas South, Hooghly and Howrah have also started selling onions at the same rate. From Tuesday morning, 405 more ration dealers will start selling onions. "SHGs of other districts will also join in," she said. "In all, we will be selling onion from 1,500-2,000 outlets," she said.
On Monday, long queues were seen before many ration shops in the city. However, in some areas the vegetable was yet to reach the ration dealers. According to a dealer, each ration shop is expected to get 80 kg onion a day.