Taking cognizance that the escalating prices of vegetables would dampen Christmas celebration in Goa, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat played Santa Claus to direct the Horticulture Corporation of Goa to sell onions at the rate of Rs 35 per kg.
The decision was taken on Thursday evening at a hurriedly convened meeting between the Agriculture Minister Vishwajit Rane, Chief Secretary Sanjay Shrivastava and officials of Horticulture Corporation at the official residence of the Chief Minister at Altinho, Panjim.
Onions will be sold at the rate of Rs 35 per Kg at all the 350 outlets of the Horticulture corporation and also the 246 mobile vans but only two kgs will be sold per person so that nobody abuses it.
This announcement is bound to bring a big relief to Goans particularly the Catholic community gearing to celebrate Christmas tomorrow as the Christmas meal is the highlight of the celebration and no Goan cuisine is complete without onions.
Onion prices have soared ostensibly due to unseasonal rains in onion growing areas of Maharashtra and Karnataka from where onion is imported to Goa.
While onions are sold at the rate of Rs 70 per Kg as currently they are being purchased at the rate of around Rs 55 per Kg in Belgaum while in Maharashtra the price quoted is Rs 70 per Kg.
As the prices have soared, vegetable vendors in Goa have purchased white onion as an alternative even though there is not much demand for this onion in Goa. White onion is available in the market for Rs 50 per Kg as against the Rs 70 per Kg for red onion.
Although the government has addressed the rising prices of onion, other ingredients continue to be dear with garlic being sold at prices ranging between Rs 250 to Rs 300 per Kg and tomatoes which till recently were available for Rs 30 per Kg are now being sold for Rs 40 and above per Kg.