The “hasty and arbitrary” decision of the Centre for demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has affected the state’s successful project to help people get vegetables at right price through “Sufal Bangla”.
The sale from the outlets run by the state agriculture marketing department has dropped by around 10 per cent on an average.
According to the sources in the agriculture marketing department, the sale had dropped by around Rs 13,000 in a day in one of the outlets of Sufal Bangla.
The total quantum of sale in normal time varies from one outlet to another as it depends on the location.
However, in none of the outlets per day sale is less than Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000.
Thus, the total turnover of all the 30 Sufal Bangla outlets at the end of a day used to be around Rs 15 lakh on an average till November 8 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
With the situation yet to change even after 22 days of the Prime Minister’s announcement, the top brass of the state agriculture marketing department has calculated that the sale from the outlets had gone down by around 10 per cent on an average.
If similar situation continues for another one month then it would lead to a loss of around Rs 45 lakh at the end of another one month. It will leave a direct impact on a large section of farmers.
The reason being that several farmers have formed Farmers’ Producer Organisations (FPOs) and at
present they sell their produce directly in “Sufal Bangla” outlets.
“There is no point taking vegetables more than the requirement as the outlets are known for selling
fresh vegetables. Thus, a day old vegetables cannot be sold from the outlets.
Thus the farmers are also facing trouble with the drop in sale,” said an official of the department adding that despite of the “poor” situation, the state government is trying its level best
to give as much as respite to the farmers.
Initially, Sufal Bangla had not faced much heat due to demonetisation as vegetables were being sold against old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from the outlets.
However, the situation turned worse after few days when people were neither left with demonetised notes nor were they having sufficient valid notes available with them.
As a result, common people were forced to reduce their consumption that left a heavy impact on farmers.
It may be mentioned that Sufal Bangla is one of the successful projects of Mamata Banerjee government with a yearly turnover of around Rs 17 crore and according to the officials of the department, the loss that was incurred due to demonetisation would leave a dent in the yearly turn over as well.