The state agriculture marketing department has extended the deadline to clear the stock of potatoes in cold storages by another eight days.
Tapan Dasgupta, minister, state agriculture marketing department, said that the decision to extend the deadline was taken after discussion with the state agriculture minister Purnendu Basu.
The decision has been taken as farmers, potato traders and cold storage owners are facing trouble due to demonetisation of notes.
The state government had earlier set November 30 as the deadline for potato traders and cold storage owners to clear the stock and it was announced on November 17 to avoid unnecessary hike in the price of potatoes.
On Tuesday, Dasgupta held a meeting with the representatives of potato traders and cold storage owners. They pleaded for the extension of the deadline for a few more weeks as the sale of potato had gone down drastically with demonetisation of notes.
Thus it would not be possible to clear the stock by November 30 and they would be incurring a heavy loss if the last date for stock clearance is not extended.
As a result, the state agriculture marketing department has given them eight more days to clear the remaining stock.
At present 8 lakh metric tonne of potatoes are still in cold storages and the entire stock has to be cleared by the new deadline that has been announced on Tuesday.
There was production of around 90 lakh metric tonne of potato. There was requirement of around 60 lakh metric tonne in the state.
Thus, there was around 30 metric tonne more production. But the price of potato didn’t come down for a
section of middlemen, which is a practice of 34 years during the Left Front regime, said Dasgupta adding that hoarding of the staple food is a “social crime”.
Potato harvesting in the state gets completed by the beginning of March every year.Thus there is no need to store potatoes in cold storages before March 1, 2017.
Stringent steps would be taken if potatoes are found in cold storages after December 8.
The situation had developed a lot in the past few months as the price of potato had gone down.