Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday visited a market in South Kolkata’s Bhawanipore area to get first-hand knowledge of the soaring vegetable prices, especially onions. The Chief Minister went to Jadubabu Market in Bhawanipore near her residence in the morning before going to state secretariat, Nabanno, and spoke to the onion vendors. “What are the prices you are selling potatoes and onions for? From where are you getting supplies of the vegetables such as potatoes and onions,” Banerjee asked the shopkeepers, also enquiring about the price at which they were further selling the vegetables to the buyers.
The sellers explained her how they are forced to buy onion for more than Rs 120 per kilogram from wholesale market.
“Didi we buy onion for Rs 120 per kilogram from wholesale market and sell it for Rs 140/kg. What can we do? It’s (onion) not in India,” a vegetable seller told the Chief Minister.
She also asked them if they were getting the onions that the state government was selling through Sufal Bangla stores at
Rs 59 per kg. The state government is also selling onions at Rs 59 a kg through 935 fair price shops in the city, besides Sufal Bangla stores, with each family getting to buy a maximum of 1 kg on producing ration cards.
After visiting the market, she wrote on her Facebook wall, along with sharing a small video: “Onion prices have gone beyond the reach of the middle class. In market, one kilo onion is being sold at Rs 140-150. The same onion is available at Sufal Bangla stall for Rs 59 per kg. Our government has always worked for the betterment of the middle-class people. To check the prices of onions and other vegetables, I went to Bhawanipore Jadubabu Market.”
The CM blamed the central government for the crisis. “Prices of onions are skyrocketing, but they (Centre) are least bothered about it. The issue of price rise is Centre’s concern. Why can’t Centre take measures to control the price rise of the essentials,” Banerjee questioned.
“There was an agreement with the central government, but the Centre did not provide onions and hence the crisis in the state,” she alleged.
She said that there are 101 Sufal Bangla stalls. “The state government has not only subsidised the price of the onion, but is also bearing the cost of transportation, distribution and losses in transit,” said a government official.