'Ensure prices of essential goods do not rise during Puja'
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed members of task force to take necessary measures so that there is no rise in the prices of essential goods ahead of Durga Puja and other festivals. She also directed several measures to reduce the gap between prices of vegetables in wholesale and retail markets.
The Chief Minister held a meeting with members of the Task Force and some ministers including state Agriculture minister Purnendu Basu and state Agriculture Marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta.
It is learnt that the matter related to the wide gap between prices of certain vegetables in wholesale and retail market has come up during the meeting. It is a cause of concern for the common people as for no valid reason, the vegetables are getting sold at premium prices in the retail markets.
Citing an example, an official said that the price of one kg onion in wholesale market is varying between Rs 18 to Rs 20, while the same is getting sold in the retail market at around Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg.
Soon after knowing that such a thing is taking place mainly in the city, the Chief Minister directed members of the task force to take immediate steps so that the vegetables are sold at appropriate prices.
The members have been asked to intensify their vigil in the markets in the city and other urban areas in the state. The task force had been visiting the markets in the city to keep a tab on the prices of essential goods. Now, the visit will be more frequent and steps will be taken against the traders if found selling vegetables at a premium price without any valid reason.
Potatoes are getting sold in the markets at the right prices. This year, potato cultivation in the state was quite good and there is a requirement of 36 lakh metric tonne in the state and around 8 lakh metric tonne will be exported to other states.
The state government is also giving emphasis on increasing the storage capacity of onions.
At the same time, the Agriculture Marketing department has also been asked to increase the number of Sufal Bangla stalls in the state. At present there are around 50 Sufal Bangla stalls in different parts of the state and there is a target to set up more than 100 such stalls.
The state government runs the Sufal Bangla stalls where mainly Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) directly sell their produce. People get fresh vegetables and at the right prices as there is no involvement of any middlemen.