After selling pulses, cooking oils, sugar and wheat at discounted prices through Mother Dairy and Kendriya Bhandar outlets, the Delhi government is in talks with NAFED in its effort to curb rising price of essential food items.
Officials said the food and civil supplies department would supply 15 essential food items at discounted prices from the first week of February.
Pulses, rice, cooking oils, sugar and tea leaves among other items will be packed and sold as a package of 15 items from more than 500 shops.
Although the government did not make any official announcements on Wednesday, food and civil supplies department officials said the items would be sold at a discount of 25 per cent.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf and senior officials held a number of meetings throughout Wednesday with NAFED officials to finalise discussions.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), a central government-funded agency involved in cooperative marketing of agriculture produce to benefit farmers, will help the state government in the scheme.
Its chairman Bijender Singh said they receive a specific quota of essential food items from the central government at a discount.
“Some money will obviously be spent in distributing these products. But we will try to transfer the maximum cost benefit to consumers,” said Singh.
NAFED will also try to buy more food products directly from the farmers to cut midlevel suppliers and offer better discount, said Singh.
“We told the Chief Minister that her government should also offer some subsidies,” said a NAFED official.
These products will be sold from outlets run by Nafed, Mother Dairy and Kendriya Bhandars.
The government was also trying to set up distribution stalls at branches of State Bank of India.
Dikshit had apparently suggested that wheat be removed from the original package of 15 items as it was already being sold at subsidised outlets by the government.
It was also suggested that items be sold separately instead of in a package to help all categories of customers.