To check the rise of price in potatoes the agriculture marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta along with the senior officials of his department has already visited the cold storages in various districts and asked the owners to release more than 40 per cent of its stock so that people can get potatoes in much cheaper rate from the markets.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had given a clear instruction that her government would not
tolerate any artificial crisis of potatoes by stocking them in cold storage and asked to curve the activities of the middlemen who were rampant in various places. These middlemen further contribute to the price rise of potatoes.
To crack down on the cold storages, the Chief Minister Banerjee had instructed Dasgupta to carry out a drive to check the black marketing of potatoes. Following the Chief Minister’s order, Dasgupta had asked all the cold storage associations to release nearly half of the existing stock so that the people can buy potatoes in lower rate.
To check whether his instruction was being implemented on the ground level, the agriculture marketing minister had visited the cold storages to take stock of the situation.
He also asked the senior officials of his department to maintain surveillance on the middlemen who buy the potatoes in lower rate and sell them at much higher price depriving the share of the farmers.
According to a senior official of the department, the prices of potatoes have down following the raids at various cold storages. Price of Jyoti potatoes has decreased to around Rs 19 per kg than what was at around Rs 24 per kg, while the price of Chandramukhi now has been reduced to around Rs 24 per kg instead of the earlier Rs 27 per kg following the raids conducted by the senior officials of the agriculture marketing department. The price of the potatoes would have gone up before the Puja if the move was not taken by the department.
Dasgupta visited Bankura on Wednesday to take stock of the situation. He has already visited various cold storages in Burdwan, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore and instructed the cold storage authorities to release the stock of potatoes at least up to 40 per cent. He will soon visit Birbhum and South 24-Parganas for the inspection of cold storages.
“Following the instruction of the Chief Minister we have started a drive in the cold storages to ensure that the people can get potatoes at a normal price. The cold storages often store 3.5-4 lakh bags of potatoes and they were reluctant to release their stock at a rate of anything beyond 10-17 per cent.
After our visit the cold storages are now clearing their stocks up to 40 per cent, as a result of which the prices of potatoes have gone down. The senior officials of the department will carry out the surveillance to further reduce the price,” Dasgupta said.