The West Bengal government will seek legal opinion on amending the Essential Commodities Act and Anti-Profiteering Act to prevent hoarding and bring down prices of essentials.
"We think, there is a need to make amendments to the Essential Commodities Act and the Anti-Profiteering Act. We will take legal opinion on this matter from our Advocate General before we seek the Centre's approval," state Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta told reporters.
He said although 15 lakh tonne of potato were stocked in cold storages, hoarding by a section of dishonest traders and cold storage owners has resulted in the exorbitant rise in its price.
The state government was importing potato from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to sell it at Rs 13 per kg from ration shops and 43 government outlets in and around the metropolis, he said.
Stating that potato at subsidised rates would be available from the middle of next week, the minister said the government would incur an additional weekly expenditure of about Rs 10 crore to subsidise the vegetable.
High-quality potato seeds were being imported from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh for farmers, he said.