Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today assured that the price of vegetables that has recently witnessed a sudden rise will be normalised by seven to eight days. In the wake of price hike of onions, potatoes and a few seasonal vegetables, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today held an emergency meeting of the task force to monitor prices of essential commodities with senior officials of the departments agriculture, agriculture marketing, transport as well as police and trader organisations and associations in Nabanna.

“After Cyclone Bulbul, a few unscrupulous businessmen sold vegetables at a four times higher cost by citing the effects of the cyclone. We are keeping a close watch on such traders and the police will take necessary action. The situation will become normal by seven to eight days,” said Miss Banerjee after the meeting.

According to Miss Banerjee, crops were damaged in South 24 Parganas but it is not the sole district where vegetables are grown. There are many areas where there has been a good production of vegetables so it is untrue that prices have risen due to the cyclone, she said.

We have requested traders to help in ensuring that prices don’t rise on the pretext of the cyclone, she added. Deliberating on the price hike of onions, Miss Banerjee said that the state government had tied up with Nafed, a central organisation for supplying onions but the agency violated the agreement as a result of which the onion prices have risen.

She said that onions would be made available at reasonable rates at governmentrun Sufal Bangla stalls and assured that more such stalls would be set up across the state. As for the price hike of potatoes,

Miss Banerjee blamed a section of the traders for increasing the prices as stocks were being procured at Rs 13 from farmers but sold at much higher prices at retail markets. The issue would be taken up by the police, she added.

She said that the potato stocks available with the state government were enough to meet the demand till December. “New stock will arrive in January 2020. Presently, we have 14 lakh metric tonne in cold storage. As three lakh metric tonne has to be kept aside for cultivation of seeds, the remaining 11 lakh metric tonne will last for the next two months,” she said.

According to her, seasonal vegetables that were supposed to be available at reasonable rates have witnessed a price hike due to the untimely rainfall. “We have arranged trucks to ferry these vegetables from areas where there has been a good production to our local markets so as to check the prices,” chief minister Banerjee added.