Potato Crisis: Yes to Pakistan, No to Odisha

Mamata has threatened the West Bengal traders who are opposing the unethical ban with detention under National Security Act.

Published: 15th August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2014 09:31 AM   |  A+A-

Potato

BALASORE: Even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee “generously” agreed to supply potato for a week to the State on her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik’s pleadings, she continues to export the tuber to Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The West Bengal traders, who have been opposing tooth and nail Mamata’s decision to prevent transportation of potato to Odisha and other neighbouring States, have claimed that they have not received any instruction so far to curb their supply to Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Mamata has threatened the West Bengal traders who are opposing the unethical ban with detention under National Security Act (NSA). Undeterred, the trader community, both in Odisha and West Bengal, have accused the TMC Government of creating an artificial scarcity of potato to prove Mamata’s supremacy. Potato is an essential commodity and a producing State cannot impose such restriction, they held.

Potato trading, a Rs 2,500 crore business in West Bengal, seems to be in crisis as Mamata is trying to keep the price of the vegetable between Rs 12-14 a kg in the retail markets of the State. While West Bengal traders and the TMC Government are at loggerheads, potato farmers said export or no export, they are always on the losing side since traders reap all the benefits.

If West Bengal traders are to be believed, there is no need for imposition of restriction on inter-State movement since the existing stock of potato in the State is adequate to sustain till the new crops arrive.

Meanwhile, the repeated requests by Naveen on Wednesday resulted in Mamata agreeing to release 5,000 tonnes potato a day to Odisha from August 17 to 23.

In the last four days, inflow of potato from West Bengal  drastically fell due to intensified patrolling on major routes connecting Odisha. The Bengal police is reported to have seized 400 potato laden trucks carrying 6,500 tonnes during this period.

‘Artificial Scarcity’

Undeterred, the trader community, both in Odisha and WB, have accused the TMC Government of creating an artificial scarcity of potato to prove Mamata’s supremacy

Potato trading, a Rs 2,500 cr business in WB, seems to be in crisis as Mamata is trying to keep the price of the vegetable between Rs 12-14 a kg in the retail markets of the State.

Mamata has threatened the WB traders who are opposing the unethical ban with detention under NSA

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp