Kolkata, Dec 31 (PTI): The West Bengal government has extended transport subsidy to January 15 for potato farmers to help clear their stock from cold storages by Sunday.
About 6.5 lakh tonne potato, which is still lying in cold storages across the state, has to be evacuated by December 31, as prescribed by the government,” West Bengal Cold Storage Association president Patit Paban Dey told PTI.
The state government offers a subsidy of Rs 50 and Rs 100 per quintal for inter-state transport of potato by road and rail, respectively.
“To support potato farmers who have not cleared their stock from cold storages, the government is offering transport subsidy till mid-January,” he said.
The government had extended the deadline for stock clearance at least twice in the past.
“The farmers who failed to sell their produce for lack of proper price had requested for another extension of the deadline, but the state government has refused to do so this time,” Dey said.
Cold storages go for annual maintenance before new crop arrives. The harvest season has already begun and it is a matter of time before fresh stock arrives at the storage.
The storages have the right to sell the potato stock once the deadline ends in line with the prescribed rules of the government, Dey said.
Last season, of the total 90 lakh tonne annual potato produce, 69 lakh tonne had been stored in 400-odd cold storages across the state.