July 17, 2012
Chief Minister review price rise, holds meeting with task-force. Kisan Mandi in 341 blocks
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee convenes a review meeting at the Writers' Building today to discuss soaring prices of vegetables in the markets. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister who had taken up the matter after paying a surprise visit to city markets. She had convened a similar meeting on July 2, 2012 which was attended by representatives across 11-market associations, concerned ministers and secretaries of respective departments and administrative officials including Kolkata Police Commissioner. Chief Minister announced an 11-member-monitering-committee headed by the Chief Minister. `I have taken up the matter seriously with all the concerned departments. After listening to all the suggestions, I have decided to set-up a task force which will start functioning from tomorrow itself, the committee members will sit daily in the morning`, said Ms. Banerjee who added that she is concerned over the fluctuation of prices in different markets, `I find that the prices of commodities vary in different markets. I will not accept such practices and I have made this clear to the members of the task force`, added Ms. Banerjee.
The committee member consists of members of the market association, Horticulture Minister, Agricultural Minister and respective secretaries. They will take rounds of all the markets in the city and will submit the observations along with the possible suggestive measures to check inflation. Chief Minister informed during the last meeting that the review meeting will take place on July 17, 2012.
During an hour-long-meeting Ms. Banerjee gave a patient hearing to the representatives of the members of the task force. Chief Minister said that she was very happy and satisfied over the working of the task-force as the rates have come down after the task force has stared working. `I have told many times that I want the framers to become self-sufficient as only then they will be able to earn properly and middlemen will not be able to exploit them`, said an aggrieved Chief Minister. The state government will build cold storages across the blocks as this will enable the farmers to preserve the produced and gain good money. `We are trying to build the Kisan Bazars to make the working transparent. I am sure this will benefit the farmers immensely. We will build Kisan Bazar across 341-blocks, out of which we have a target of 95-Kisam Bazars this year and rest will be done next year and once this is done the farmers will not have to look upto the middlemen for selling their crops and hence there will be no exploitation`, added Ms. Mamata Banerjee.
Apart from that there will be 100-Polly-Houses across the South 24-parganas. This is a part of pilot project and will cover places like Canning, Goshaba, Pathor Pratima, Bishnupur, Jai Nagar to name a few, `This is a new concept and will protect the crops from destroying due to rains, floods, insects and even in the natural calamities as the word itself suggest that there will be tight polly security. These are the places where the farmers will themselves do the farming and sell their products. The state government will only extend the financial assistance. We will take this to other places but we have started with the South 24-Parganas initially`, said Chief Minister.
On the occasion of Ramzan and Durga Puja the State Government will sell the essential commodities like flour, sugar, edible oil at a subsidized rate across all the fair-price-shops in the state. Also there will an additional free of cost distribution of rice under the Annapurna Yojna covering nearly 59, 968 poor people.
`I have decided to increase the quantity of rice from two-kilograms to four-kilograms for the poor people in Aila prone regions (where the number is 3,13,558) and Singur (the number is 3,746). Previously we were distributing two-rupees rice per two-kilogram in these places but I have decided that from August onwards till April the quantity will be increased by two-kilograms, four-kilogram-rice instead of two-kilograms. I feel they should good nourishment as they lack good food`, said Chief Minister.
Speaking on this occasion Chief Minister referring to the Forwarding Policy of the Central government said that her government will not accept such policies in Bengal as this is the reason behind such inflation. `I want to make it clear that I will not tolerate anything which helps the black marketers and hoarders to flourish, if required I will take stern action and see such things are stopped`, added Ms. Banerjee. She reiterated that she will not tolerate the illegal hoarding as it is due to them that the situation has become so grave, `There is an attitude among average traders keep rice and grains on hold and sell next year to avail of the increased price offered by Central Government. I would like to tell them that don't do this mistake as the grains and rice you are staging may go waste due to various reasons, what will you do then. Besides next year you will have fresh growth and you can avail off the new prices`.
`The next review meeting of the task-force will take place on August 1, 2012`, added Chief Minister.