Yesterday, West Bengal potato traders claimed they do not understand why prices for this product are going up, as there are adequate stocks available in the state’s cold storages. Also, the federal government has allowed licence-free potato imports from Bhutan.
A West Bengal Cold Storage Association official said that 26-27 per cent of the total capacity of 5.9 mln tonnes of potatoes is available at this time: "The stock level is normal as it was in previous years, and there is no reason for any crisis. We are unable to comprehend the reason behind the price rise."
Various reasons such as export to other states, large corporate buying and hoarding were being floated, another cold storage official said.
"The central government has allowed import of potatoes without license from Bhutan and some 30,000 tonne is expected to arrive soon," a trader told outlookindia.com.
On October 30, the government permitted import of potatoes from the Himalayan country without licence up to January 31 next year, a move aimed at boosting domestic supply and control prices of the commodity.