The scheme of price stabilisation fund, promised by the BJP in its Lok Sabha election manifesto released on Monday, appears to have been drawn from the experience of Tamil Nadu.
After the AIADMK came to power in May 2011, such a fund was constituted with a corpus of Rs. 50 crore. The fund’s primary objective is to provide financial assistance to cooperative institutions and the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) for procuring essential commodities that are prone to abnormal price fluctuations and selling them through the existing retail outlets at no-profit and no-loss price. An amount of Rs. 50 crore has been deposited with the Tamil Nadu State Apex Cooperative (TNSC) Bank, carrying an interest rate of 9.57 per cent.
The financial assistance to the cooperatives and the TNCSC is given out of the proceeds of interest, and revenue from the sale of the commodities is ploughed back into the fund, an official says. Thanks to the fund, 40 farm-fresh vegetable outlets in Chennai and 10 in Coimbatore have been opened.
They are not-for-profit outlets. Besides, there are two mobile outlets in Chennai.
The official says Rs. 6.7 crore was spent during 2013-2014 on buying the commodities such as tamarind and vegetables.