Enough stocks to meet demands till December, says Mamata

The State government will set up “seed banks” to ensure that potato farmers get a fair price for their crops, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.

Referring to the ongoing scarcity of potato, she said the State government had enough stocks of the staple vegetable to meet the demand until December.

The previous deadline for emptying all the cold storages with large stocks of potato had also been extended from November 30 to December 15, she told a rally organised by the Trinamool Congress in the Ilambajar area in Birbhum district.

On Monday, the State government claimed to possess a stock of 13.7 lakh metric tons of potatoes which could sustain the demand for two-and-a-half months.

Cheaper in Bengal

Ms. Banerjee said, “It is only in West Bengal that the price of potato has been fixed at Rs. 13 per kg whereas in Delhi it is being sold at Rs. 50 per kg, in Rajasthan between Rs. 45 and Rs. 50.”

To ensure that potato farmers got a fair price for their crop, the State government would buy the vegetable directly from them, said Ms. Banerjee. “Earlier they got only Rs. 2 per kg and now they are getting Rs. 8 per kg.”

State Secretary of the Communist Party of India Manju Kumar Majumdar slammed the State government for its failure to curb the rising price of potatoes.

The task force set up by it to keep prices of essential foodstuff in check is “only in name,” he said.