Minister unhappy as govt turns potato vendor

State Minister for Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs Sushanta Ghosh has slammed the plan of state Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta of setting up government stalls at 12 markets of Kolkata to sell potato at Rs 13 per kg.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:July 11, 2009 3:02 am

State Minister for Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs Sushanta Ghosh has slammed the plan of state Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta of setting up government stalls at 12 markets of Kolkata to sell potato at Rs 13 per kg.

As potatoes began to sell for Rs 18 a kg,the government decided to set up stalls to sell Jyoti variety of potatoes and Dasgupta made the announcement on Thursday. “Similar stalls will be set up at district towns from July 14,” Dasgupta said.

But Ghosh termed the plan impractical. “The decision to sell potatoes is wrong. There is a shortfall of 22 lakh tonnes of potatoes in the state. The government will have to buy potatoes from cold storages but if the storages are compelled to release more potatoes,after two months,there will be no potatoes in the market,” he added.

Senior government officials were also sceptical about the plan. “The decision is impractical. The government cannot get into the business of selling potatoes. You are setting up 12 stalls for the entire population of Kolkata,which is an absurd idea. Jyoti potato was sold for just Rs 6 per kg just two months ago and by selling it at Rs 13 a kg,you are giving it the government seal. This is absurd,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.

Dasgupta,however,remained unfazed. “I have taken the decision only after consulting the chief minister. I will talk to Ghosh to sort out the matter,” Dasgupta said.

He also said 100 tonnes of potatoes will be sold from the stalls in Kolkata for two days and after that 300 tonnes will be provided. A few days later,500 tonnes will be supplied to the stalls.

Cong wants Rs 13 kg potato for entire state
Following the state government’s arrangement for selling potato in 12 markets of Kolkata,the Congress party on Friday moved an adjournment motion in the state Assembly demanding a similar arrangement in the entire state. The adjournment motion,moved by Congress MLA Asit Mal,was rejected by Speaker H A Halim,who only allowed the MLA to read it out. Mal said that such an arrangement for Kolkata and Salt Lake would only benefit a section of cold storage owners and those involved in hoarding of vegetables. Mal also demanded the state government to initiate stern action against those involved in black marketing of potato bythe enforcement branch to contain the vegetable’s price. PTI

For all the latest Kolkata News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results