Kolkata: Potato merchants in West Bengal have blamed the latest modification to the Essential Commodities Act by the Centre for an increase in costs of the tuber in retail markets because it permits barrier-free commerce of the agricultural product. Potato costs in West Bengal are presently ruling excessive at Rs 32-33 a kg as 15-20 per cent of each day provide of the commodity is being exported to neighbouring states, they claimed. “Potato prices are up at the retail level as at least 15-20 per cent of daily supplies are being sent to neighbouring states. If exports are stopped, the prices will come down by around Rs 4-5 per kg,” merchants stated.
They additionally claimed that the modification to the Essential Commodities Act has a task in conserving potato costs agency, regardless of the state authorities’s efforts to carry it down. In June, the Centre had given its nod to the modification to the Act to decontrol meals objects, together with cereals, pulses, onion and potato and likewise accredited ‘the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020’ to make sure barrier-free commerce in agriculture produce.
The state authorities had issued an ultimatum to potato merchants to carry down the wholesale worth to Rs 22 a kg and warned of motion if retailers are discovered promoting the tuber above Rs 27 a kg. Still, the Jyoti number of potato is being offered at Rs 32-33 per kg.
According to the state authorities official, the hole between potato costs at chilly storage and the retail market shouldn’t be greater than Rs 5 per kg.
“The ordinance has curtailed the power of the state government to regulate prices of several farm products,” sources on the West Bengal Cold Storage Association informed PTI. With the modification, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion and potato have been faraway from the record of important commodities, although in conditions similar to battle, famine, extraordinary worth rise and pure calamity, these
agricultural merchandise could be regulated, they stated.
“Now, there are no restrictions on stocks. Traders can sell the commodity anywhere in the country. So, they are exporting potatoes to the neighbouring states for better realisation,” an official of the chilly storage affiliation stated. Asked whether or not the state authorities is planning to ban exports of potato to different states, a senior official of the agriculture division didn’t need to remark.
Traders stated the manufacturing of potato in West Bengal was decrease by 10 per cent to 90-95 lakh tonne this yr, although the output was adequate for the state’s consumption which is about 60 lakh tonne every year.
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