The government has directed National Cooperative Consumers' Federation (NCCF) and NAFED to sell tomatoes at a retail price of Rs 50 per kg from August 15 onwards, in view of the decline in its prices in the wholesale markets. 

Incidentally, the direction has come on a day when India's retail inflation measured by consumer price index (CPI), saw a huge rise to 7.44 per cent in July owing to hike in food prices, as food inflation also witnessed a massive jump of 11.51 per cent, owing to high prices of commodities like tomatoes, cereals, pulses and milk products. 

The retail price of tomatoes procured by NCCF and NAFED was initially fixed at Rs 90 per kg and later reduced to Rs 80 per kg from July 16, 2023 and then further to Rs 70 per kg from July 20. 

The latest reduction to Rs 50 per kg will further benefit the consumers, official sources said. 

According to the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, in the last one month, a total of 15 lakh kg of tomato had been procured by the two agencies (till August 13), which are being continuously disposed of to the retail consumers in major consumption centres in the country. 

These locations include Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan (Jaipur, Kota), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj) and Bihar (Patna, Muzaffarpur, Arrah, Buxar).

Over the past few days, NCCF had substantially increased the quantity of tomato supplied to the retail consumers by stationing its mobile vans across 70 locations all over Delhi, and 15 locations in Noida and Greater Noida. 

In addition, NCCF is also continuously doing retail sale of tomato through the open network for digital commerce (ONDC) platform. 

The government had commenced the procurement of tomato from mandis in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra for simultaneous disposal in major consumption centres where retails prices have recorded maximum increase in last one month, official sources said. 

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