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Take actions & reduce prices of vegetables in 10 days, directs CM | Mio Kitchen

MP, 10 July 2024, Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday directed the state administration and the police to take suitable measures to bring down the price of vegetables, particularly of potato and onion, in 10 days. 

She laid down a guideline for doing the needful at a meeting of the task force she had constituted for keeping the prices of essential commodities in check. 

The price of potato has gone up to Rs 35 per kg while onion is selling at Rs 50 per kg. The price of potato was Rs 22 while that of onion was Rs 35 in the corresponding period last year. Banerjee also lashed out at the Centre for the price rise. 

“Elections (Lok Sabha) were held for three months at a stretch. We have to check whether vegetable prices are being hiked for collecting money spent in electoral bonds,” she said. 

She issued directions against the storage of potatoes and advocated purchasing Sukhsagar variety of onion from farmers in Bengal rather than importing from Nasik. She directed the Enforcement and Intelligence Branch of the police to conduct raids in markets to regulate the price and take action against those found indulging in hoarding. 

She also issued directions for fast-tracking the work of setting up multipurpose cold storage facilities in the state for the preservation of vegetables. Banerjee also batted for cutting down on onion export to Bangladesh or other states. 

“There should be surveillance on the border. We have to first cater to the needs of the state and after that, we can think of export,” she added. Also Read – Thundershowers, lightning may hit several South Bengal dists: MeT 

“At present 45 lakh metric tonnes of potatoes are in cold storage. Why should we store such a large quantity till the new production starts hitting the market in January next year. If we store 25 per cent of the existing quantity, we can release another 36 lakh metric tonne. 

In the next six months from July to December, release 6 lakh metric tonnes every month and still we will have a back-up of 9 lakh metric tonnes,“ Banerjee said. The Chief Minister expressed her displeasure over the functioning of the task force constituted for regulating market prices. 

“I formed the task force. I am not aware when they last met. The task force should sit for a meeting at least once in a week till further instructions come from my side. The chief secretary, home secretary, finance secretary and top brass of the police should be present in the meeting. I want a report every week on the steps taken and take stock of price reduction,” she added. 

Banerjee regretted that farmers are being deprived and profiteers are making a profit by increasing vegetable price. “Some of the big traders are keeping potatoes in cold storage to create artificial demand in the market,” she added. 

Banerjee said that presently 468 Sufal Bangla outlets are operational in the state where vegetables are priced at least 10 to 15 percent less than market price. The other vegetables whose price is on the higher side in the market are garlic which is selling at

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