High prices in West Bengal down to exports - claim

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Potato prices in West Bengal are currently ruling high at Rs 32-33 a kg as 15-20% of daily supply of the commodity is being exported to neighbouring states, traders have claimed. 

They say if exports are stopped, the prices will come down by around Rs 4-5 per kg. They also claimed that the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act has a role in keeping potato prices firm, despite the state government's efforts to bring it down.

The state government has issued an ultimatum to potato traders to bring down the wholesale price to Rs 22 a kg and warned of action if retailers are found selling the tuber above Rs 27 a kg. The Jyoti variety of potato is currently still being sold at Rs 32-3.

According to the state government official, the gap between potato prices at cold storage and the retail market should not be more than Rs 5 per kg.