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Potato price may touch close to Rs 50/kg in Kolkata

Kolkata,  Retail potato price in Kolkata markets may rise to a new high of Rs 48-49 per kg for a short stint if Monday”s rate is any indication, traders said on Monday.

”Jyoti” variety of potato was sold at Rs 1,850-1,900 a packet (containing 50 kg) on Monday, which amounted to Rs 38- 39 per kg at the cold storage gate, West Bengal Cold Storage Association officials said.

“If today”s price is any indication, then retail potato price may touch Rs 48-49 per kilo in the next two days,” a cold storage owner said, refusing to be quoted.

This “unprecedented” rise in potato price is “surprising” as there is no shortage of the vegetable in West Bengal and a stock of 15-16 days is lying in cold storages, they said.

With the tubers started arriving in north Indian markets from Punjab, the price is unlikely to remain at this level, the traders expected.

In Delhi, the wholesale price of potato is cheaper by Rs 200 per packet than West Bengal, which is a major potato producing state.

Potato price should have witnessed correction after Diwali as the crop from Punjab began hitting the market by then but this has not been the case in the eastern state so far, the traders said.

However, a cold storage official expected that the situation is likely to ease from December.

When contacted, a senior government official declined to speak on the subject.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi early this month seeking his intervention to control the “extraordinary” price rise of potato and onion.

In a letter she said, “Amendments in Essential Commodities Act are seriously encouraging hoarders in hoarding and profiteering on essential items like potatoes and onions resulting in price rise and suffering to consumers.” PTI