For the first time after coming to power for the second term the Chief Minister held meeting with members of the Task Force on Thursday. Tapan Dasgupta, the Agriculture marketing minister, Abdur Rezzak Mollah, the food procurement and horticulture minister, Jyotipriya Mullick, the state Food and Supplies minister, Chandranath Sinha, the fisheries department minister and Purnendu Basu, the state agriculture minister were present in the meeting along with the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, DG and Commissioner of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Khalil Ahmed were present in the meeting.
Sources said that Banerjee wanted to know from the ministers and officials, the reason behind the difference between the price of essential goods in wholesale and retail markets. Various reasons which lead to the difference were put forward before the Chief Minister.
Stating that it is resulting in unnecessary hike in the price of essential goods, Banerjee asked for immediate steps to check the same.
Citing an example, an official in Nabanna explained that of course a trader in the retail market will fix the selling price keeping a margin of profit. But there are some traders who increase the price beyond limit and as a result the price of an item automatically goes up.
Officers of the Enforcement Branch of the Kolkata Police will be visiting the markets in the city. The officers will be checking the amount at which a trader had bought goods from the wholesale market and selling price of the same in his or her shop.
Banerjee has also asked to take necessary steps to check the hike in the price of potato, tomato and chili. Directions have been given to increase the yield of potato, tomato, chili and pulses. It may be mentioned that the state agriculture department increases cultivation of cereals on 1 lakh hectre land every year. The production cereals in the entire country is less than its demand and it needs be to imported every year. Similarly, production in West Bengal is also less that the demand. But steps have already been taken to increase the yield.
Banerjee has also directed to take necessary steps to identify the areas where there is good cultivation of spinach for its better marketing. At the same time the steps would also be taken to make potato and vegetables at a cheaper rate in the stalls -Sufal Bangla - of the state
government in the city and its adjoining areas.