Bengal government will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to reduce the price of potato and onions.
Blaming the Centre for the steep hike in prices of essential commodities, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal alleged that the prices were rising as the Centre has snatched away the state's power.
Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal
“Earlier, we used to monitor the prices wherein steps were taken whenever prices rose but as that power has been snatched away from us the potato prices are revolving around Rs 34 to 42. We will ask the Centre to either restore us the power to monitor the prices or control the situation themself else common people would die of hunger.”
“Centre's law allowing barrier-free trade of the agricultural product has led to hoarding resulting in the price hike. We have already said that the law is anti-people.”
“In the current Covid situation when unemployment is on a rise in the country, such law has created a pandemic situation in the market.”
She said that state would conduct a survey to take stock of the hoarding of commodities as well as monitor the inter-state borders.
Currently, Jyoti variety of potatoes cost around Rs 40 and the Chandramukhi variety is Rs 45. Onions cost around Rs 80 to 90.
Earlier, potato traders in West Bengal have blamed the recent amendment to the Essential Commodities Act by the Centre for a rise in prices of the tuber in retail markets as it allows barrier-free trade of the agricultural product.
With the amendment, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion and potato have been removed from the list of essential commodities, though in situations such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity, these agricultural products can be regulated, they said.