The state agriculture minister Purnendu Basu and agriculture marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta visited several wholesale and retail markets in the city on Thursday to assess the present situation with flow of money yet to improve after 23 days of demonetisation of notes.
The ministers were also accompanied by the local MLA Swarna Kamal Saha when they visited Koley Market near Sealdah and Manicktala market near Ultadanga.
After inspecting the markets and speaking to farmers and vegetable traders, Basu said that they would submit a report to the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in this regard.
Basu and Dasgupta spoke to both the farmers who come to the markets from different villages to sell their produce and wholesale traders who import onions and potatoes from other states.
Basu said that there is a wide gap between the price at which vegetables were procured from farmers and the rate at which the same is sold by traders in local market.
"A wholesaler said that he is selling capsicum at Rs 12 per kg while we are buying it at Rs 30 per kg in local markets. It shows that there are some middlemen who are playing nasty games. As a result, farmers are getting the minimum price and on the other hand common people are buying the same at a much higher price. Stringent measures would be taken against these middlemen," he said.
He further said that the Centre's decision of demonetisation has left a deep impact on the market. Both buyers and sellers are affected due to the cash crunch. Business volume has come down drastically.
"I spoke to an onion wholesaler who procured the vegetable from South India. He said that his per day sale was around 100 kg and now it has gone down to 40 kg. I found stock of comparatively bigger size onions in Koley Market. These onions would perish if not sold within the next few days. The traders would incur huge loss if they cannot clear the stock. Still the price of vegetables are under control, but I apprehend price rise if the situation doesn't improve soon," he said, adding that they had also urged the Centre's representatives, who visited the state in recent time, to visit the markets to get the real picture and to know how people are suffering due to the Centre's hasty decision.
Besides taking up the issue politically, the state government is also doing the necessary to let the country know how the people are suffering.
The inspections will continue and the ministers would often visit the markets in the next few.
Dasgupta said: "The visit was essential to know the real picture. Steps would be taken accordingly to reduce the suffering of the farmers."