It is expected to make a total sale of over Rs. 40 lakh

The 17 {+t} {+h} edition of the annual Pongal bazaar organised by the Puducherry Agro-Products, Food and Civil Supplies Organisation (PAPSCO), is expected to make a total sale of over Rs. 40 lakh this year.

According to Managing Director of PAPSCO Vasantha Kumar, the nine-day bazaar, inaugurated by Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam on Friday, is a “market intervention activity” by the government to provide a respite to consumers from high prices that prevail in the open market during the festival.

The bazaar provides consumers with a variety of products, including vegetables, groceries, textiles, sugarcane and others, which are in great demand during the season. The “self-service” mode followed in the bazaar helps consumers spend more time and choose products of their choice.

Last year, the bazaar netted a total sale of Rs. 35 lakh, with sugarcane sale alone earning Rs. 3.5 lakh. The contribution of sugarcane to this year's sales is expected to touch Rs. 5 lakh. Mr. Kumar said sugarcane has been directly procured from farmers from Thanjavur and Mannargudi and are sold at Rs. 12.50 a cane.

The bazaar offers more than 28 varieties of rice and all varieties of pulses at rates lower than the market. Shirts, saris and dhotis are also offered at a discount.

Though the bazaar offers products at lower prices, consumers said they see a marked increase in the rates when compared to prices during the Deepavali bazaar put up by PAPSCO.

According to H. Geetha, a housewife, the soaring prices of pulses and vegetables has had an adverse impact on her spending for the festival. “We usually buy good clothes and prepare a variety of sweets for ‘pongal.' However, with price of products such as ghee and vegetables soaring, we are cutting down expenditure considerably,” she said.

On Sunday, the price of a kg of onion was Rs. 61. Other vegetables also saw a slight increase in rates with tomatoes being sold at Rs. 25 per kg and carrot Rs. 31 a kg. Consumers said that season specific vegetables such as yam and sweet potato have also seen considerable increase in prices.

  • Nine-day bazaar was inaugurated by Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam on Friday
  • Soaring prices of pulses, vegetables has affected spending, say consumers