Kerala

Onam fair in districts from Aug 27-Sept 6: Minister

Onam fairs of Supplyco will be held in all districts of the State from August 27 to September 6.

Their State-level inauguration would be held in Thiruvananthapuram, G.R. Anil, Minister for Food Consumer Affairs and Legal Metrology, said here on Saturday.

The fairs are being held after a two-year break caused by the pandemic. Similar fairs will be held in all 140 Legislative Assembly constituencies in the State from September 1, where essential items, including fruits and vegetables, will be made available.

All supermarkets too will host Onam fairs and special Onam kits priced ₹1,000 to ₹1,200 will be sold here. Such kits will be readied for sale during Christmas and Ramzan seasons as well. The aim is to attract middle-income families and others to Supplyco outlets. Products of Horticorp, Milma and Meat Products of India too would be sold through these outlets, he said, while addressing mediapersons here.

“Similarly, Onam kits comprising 14 items will be distributed free of cost through the outlets to ration-card holders. This is expected to cost a total of ₹465 crore. The items are expected to be readied for distribution from August 10.”

Quality

“Steps will also be taken to ensure sale of essential items that adhere to quality norms, through the agency’s outlets. In the wake of the recent reports of masala and curry powder packets having adulterants and chemicals, I have given a letter to the Health Minister, demanding frequent collection of their samples,” he said.

Mr Anil claimed that no other State was doing market intervention like Kerala, to make available essential goods at subsidised rates to the public. Many products were being sold at up to 30% lesser rate than the prevailing market price, making them comparable to 2016 rates. In addition, BPL card holders could purchase medicines from medical shops at up to 50% discounted rate, he said.

GST burden

Responding to a query on what the State government did to do away with the 5% GST imposed on packed food items, Mr Anil said the State government had recently requested the Centre to exempt essential items from the GST ambit. In addition, the State sought 1000 tonnes of ragi instead of the wheat quota that was scrapped for APL card holders. Another 1000 tonne Bengal gram too had been demanded. The Centre had agreed to restore the discontinued rice subsidy for over 900 institutions where students and others from marginalised groups and communities were residing. The Centre also agreed to provide 22,000 kilo litres of subsidy-free kerosene, he added.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2022 6:58:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/onam-fair-in-districts-from-aug-27-sept-6-minister/article65703204.ece