Cash-strapped GSHC at sea over onion crisis

NT NETWORK

Panaji

Rolling up its sleeves to
deal with the onion scarcity in the state, the Goa State Horticulture Corporation has
spoken to three suppliers from Nasik and Satara (Maharashtra) and Karnataka who
are ready to supply onions to Goa at reasonable rates on immediate payment.

However, the cash-strapped corporation seems be in a
quandary vis-à-vis onion procurement from these suppliers, who have insisted on
immediate payment on supply.

To tackle the rising onion prices, a crucial meeting was
held on Monday between Chief Minister
Pramod Sawant and GSHC chairman Pravin
Zantye along with officers.

The meeting was held to work out a strategy to procure
onions at reasonable rates.

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Zantye said
the corporation has spoken to three big-time
onion suppliers from Nasik and Satara (Maharashtra) and Karnataka, who
are ready to supply the onions at wholesale rate of Rs 60.

However, he said
the corporation is facing shortage of funds and is not in a position to
make immediate payment to the suppliers.

“Thus, we have requested the Chief Minister to release
funds to the corporation so that it can procure onions from these suppliers as
soon as possible by making immediate payment,” he disclosed.

The cash-strapped GSHC has not released a subsidy of Rs
34 crore for the last one and half year to its 1,200 retail outlet owners. An
amount running into the same figures has also not been paid to onion suppliers
for the last four-five months.

“Since there has been overall shortage of onions in the
market due to rains in the regions

where onions and vegetables are cultivated, suppliers insist on immediate payment… we
have explained the situation to the Chief Minister requesting him to release fund immediately,”
Zantye said.

Sawant was very positive about the matter discussed at
the meeting, the GSHC chairman said, adding that the government will release
the money to the corporation as per the availability of funds with the state
treasury.

He explained that onion prices have gone up to Rs 100 per
kg not only in Goa but also in other regions like Belagavi, Hubballi, Sirsi
etc.

“But our corporation has been selling onions at Rs 79 per
kg. However, we want to bring the price down still further,” he said, pointing
out that if the corporation manages to procure the onions from the three
suppliers then GSHC outlets will able to
sell onions at rates of Rs 60 to Rs 65 per kg.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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