Bengal lifts ban on potato export

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday lifted the ban on potato and vegetable export, allowing their movement from West Bengal to other states. The move comes a month after she barred the traders from sending potato out of state in view of skyrocketing prices of the vegetable.

Mamata announced lifting the ban after meeting the task force, which she had set up to check the spiralling prices of the vegetables.

"The chief minister ordered that 2 lakh tonnes of potato would be released from cold storages beginning December 10. The traders can export the tuber. It has also been decided that all cold storages would be allowed to keep a stock of potato till December 15," said Subrata Biswas, principal secretary in the agri-marketing department..

Just 15 days back Mamata, after a telephonic conversation with Orissa Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, had allowed movement of 1 lakh tonne of potato to that state. So far 46,000 tonnes have been sent, according to officialsof the agri-marketing department.

The state at present has got a reserve of 7 lakh tonne of potato.

The state government is also entering into agreements with various farmer groups to procure vegetables directly from farms and sell it in Kolkata markets, Biswas said.

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