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India: Punjab government bails out potato growers

With potato prices going down, the Punjab government on Friday directed agriculture marketing agencies under its authority to intervene immediately and bail out potato growers in the state who were suffering heavy losses.

"The Punjab government has directed the Punjab Agro and Markfed to effectively intervene in the market on a 'no profit no loss' basis to bail out the potato growers from the current crisis, besides realising better prices for them," a spokesman said here on Friday.

Chairing an emergency meeting to take stock of the prevailing situation here, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal decided to reduce the Market Fee and Rural Development Fee (RDF) on potatoes from 2 per cent to 0.25 per cent.

Badal also decided to slash the rates of commission charged by the commission agents from 5 to 1 per cent with immediate effect.

Badal also asked the agriculture department to ensure the rational utilisation of storage capacity in cold stores across the state to curb the malpractice of hoarding in cold storage space.


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