As super cyclone Amphan moves closer to Odisha coast, potato and onion prices have skyrocketed in different parts of the state including Cuttack and Bhubaneswar with people resorting to panic buying. Though vegetable rates remained unchanged, prices of potato and onion have increased between 20% and 40% per kilogram.
It is believed that as cyclone Amphan is inching closer to Odisha, retail traders are buying lesser stock. Moreover, there are allegations that some traders have resorted to black marketing and artificially increasing the rates of essential commodities.
Following complaints over elevated prices of potatoes & onions, officials of Supply department today raided the makeshift market at Unit-1 High School ground in Bhubaneswar and regulated the price.
Debendra Nath Sahu, secretary of Chhatra Bazaar Trader Association in Cuttack said, “Everybody is scared because of Cyclone Amphan and no one knows its impact on the State. Huge quantities of potato are imported from West Bengal, where prices have increased considerably too.”
The local markets in Odisha are not sufficient to meet the demand of potatoes in the State. If cyclone brings any damage in West Bengal and the supply is disrupted, the rates will ultimately go up, Sahu told odishatv.in.
Allaying fears of shortage of essential commodities in the State, Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Minister, Ranendra Pratap Swain tweeted, “I request people not to believe any rumours regarding Cyclone Amphan. There is no need for panic buying and do not be afraid. Strict action will be taken against those who are found selling commodities at increased rates.”