From Monday, you'll be able to buy onions at rates lower than those prevailing in markets across the city. Just head to the nearest consumer society outlet or cooperative store.
Faced with a public backlash because of the soaring onion prices — in some areas they touched Rs 90 per kg — the state government decided to supply stocks to these stores.
Such stores — there are more than 200 across the city — are owned by consumers and operate on very thin margins. There are also chains owned by consumer societies such as Apna Bazar, Sahakari Bhandar and Super Bazar. They play an important role in strengthening the Public Distribution System and provide assistance to the state during crises.
After the Centre banned onion exports and removed import duty on them, the state government ordered market yards to supply onions directly to these stores.
"We will start selling the onions from Monday," said Sanjay Shete, chairman, Sahakari Bhandar, a cooperative store chain that has 22 outlets in Mumbai. He said the store was currently selling onions at Rs 45 per kg and would decide on the new price once it was informed of the purchase price.
"We are ready to comply with any directive that benefits consumers," said Anil Gangar, chairman, Apna Bazar, which has 32 outlets in Mumbai.
Consumers welcomed the idea. "Consumer societies are better than malls; they provide quality goods at subsidised rates," said Sachin Gala, a Dadar resident. "They are trusted by consumers."
On Friday, officials visited the stores to survey existing stocks.