Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant on Friday stated that Goa's Susegado (laid-back) attitude has led landowners to give up on farming, causing the prices of onions to skyrocket. He said that the government is not responsible for soaring onion prices. Instead, people are responsible for being Susegado. Highlighting the importance of planting vegetables the CM said, that people have quit planting rice and vegetables.
Vegetables, dairy products, and even flowers are being imported to the state, said Sawant at an awards ceremony organised by the Goa Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan. He continued saying that the people do not plant onions, therefore they are responsible for the skyrocketing onion prices and not the rains.
"Susegado" also spelt as Sucegado, is an Indo-Portuguese word that signifies a range of sentiments in Goa, including contentedness, relaxed, or a laid-back attitude towards life that is said to have existed historically in Goa.
The CM said that women in Goa used to grow onions, chillies and vegetables in their own yard which would last the whole year. Onions can still be grown in Goa, he said. Sawant recalled that his mother too used to plant onions in their agricultural yard, but like everyone else, the practice at his home has also discontinued.
Unseasonal rains have resulted in an increase in the prices of onions across the country. On Thursday, Sawant released Rs 15 crore in back payments owed by a state-run Corporation to onion suppliers, in order to bring down the escalating prices.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said in Lok Sabha that the government has taken a host of measures including imports to deal with the rising prices of onion. She said that there are several structural issues related to the storage of onions and the government is trying to address them. The Minister was replying to the debate on the first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants. Prices of onions in many places have crossed Rs 100 per kg because of shortage.
Steps taken by government to check rising prices of onion include a ban on exports, the imposition of stock limit, import and transfer of onion from surplus to deficit area. She also said that due to the implementation of the direct benefit transfer scheme, the government has been able to save Rs 1.41 lakh crore in the last five years.
(With agency inputs)