Ilambazar: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said though the state was in the grip of a potato crisis, the state government had been able to contain the price at Rs 13 a kg despite soaring prices in other states.
"There is a potato crisis in our state. Not only in our state, it has affected other states as well. There was excessive rainfall. Some problems are there with potato in Jharkhand as well as in our neighbouring Odisha.”
"In Delhi, the potato price is between Rs 50 and Rs 60 per kg and that of onion Rs 130 per kg. I was hearing that the price of potato in Rajasthan is also between Rs 50 and Rs 60 per kg," she said here in the Birbhum district.
"Despite facing such situation, we are trying to control it alone," Banerjee said, while addressing a rally after announcing several welfare programmes for the poor.
After potato prices soared to Rs 40 a kg, the state government had fixed the price of the tuber at Rs 13 a kg, she said.
In the wake of the potato crisis, the West Bengal government put a price ceiling of Rs 13 per kg on the popular Jyoti variety of potato and instructed the Police to lodge FIRs against traders who defied the order.
Banerjee said the present stock of potato in West Bengal would last till December and added the new crop which usually arrived in the markets by November, would hit the markets only in the first week of January due to excessive rains this time.
She said her government was committed to secure the interest of potato growers and stressed, earlier the farmers used to get a remunerative price of Rs 2 per kg, but her government had increased it to Rs 8 per kg.
A large crowd had gathered at the venue and barely a few minutes into Banerjee`s speech, people tried to push through the barricade separating them from the podium. Seeing the impending stampede like situation, the Chief Minister cut short her speech.