Chief minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that thousands of
trucks carrying vegetables and essential goods were stuck at different state
borders as they could not pay tax.
“They were waiting for three days. To save farmers and
commoners, perishable vegetables should not be allowed to spoil. The Bengal
government has decided not to impose any agricultural tax on movement of trucks
for the next three days,” the chief minister said. She said, thousands of
trucks all over the country carrying essential and perishables goods were
facing a huge cash shortage.
“The issue would
become even more serious over the next few days and would push up the prices of
essential goods. Quick action was needed,” she added. Demonetisation has
affected the vegetable market across the city – Vegetables markets across the
city like Lake Market, Manicktala market, Jodubabur Bazar, New Market. Traders
complain that the sale of the vegetables has gone down while prices of certain
vegetables have gone up.Though many vegetable sellers claim that the price rise
is fluctuating between various markets,it has been seen that the price of
staple foods like potatoes, onions, tomatoes has been already up by Rs 10 per
kg. Whereas, the prices of round gourd, carrots, beans, capsicum have gone up
by approxiamately Rs 15 per kg.
Bishu, a vegetable
seller at Salt Lake market said, “Our sales have dropped dramatically. People
are coming with old Rs.500 note to buy vegetables ,but we are not taking these
notes, thus sales have dropped. Also, in the whole sale market the farmers are
refusing to take old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes. Thus we are unable to buy
vegetables.” Piyali Basu, a homemaker states,“It is a complete harassment.
Though the prices of vegetables have not risen much, it is impossible to
provide the exact change. The shopkeepers refuse to take old Rs.500 notes.” In
Koley market itself there has been a drop in the sale about 50 per cent from 9
November. A wholeseller on grounds of anonymity stated,“I have been to the
wholesale markets in Madanpur, Sudhrok in Chakda. This time the vegetable
harvest has been very good, the wholesale market is full of fresh vegetables
but there is no buyer due to the demonetisation drive.
The trucks carrying vegetables from other states got stuck
on the National Highway because the truck drivers have no money for petrol or
food.” Ashoke Mondal , Umesh Raj Bangshi ,Ashim Das and others, all truck
drivers bound towards Hooghly district, are held up with their loaded trucks in
a quite hopeless situation. Mondal, held up in Tinsukia, said that the Rs.500
and Rs.1000 currency notes have has lost their value and nobody is even ready
to give us food in exchange. Another truck driver said,“Really we are in a
miserable condition. No money to buy food, no money for daily essential needs.
How long can one provide me and my truck helper food.”