West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, November 9 raised concerns over the rising prices of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oil, onions, and potatoes after being removed from the list of essential commodities.

She wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene as the exclusion of onions and potatoes have encouraged vendors to hoard eventually resulting in a price hike. 

In the letter, Mamata Banerjee said, “Amendments in Essential Commodities Act are seriously encouraging hoarders in hoarding and profiteering on essential items like potatoes and onions resulting in price rise and suffering to consumers.” 

“I would seek your kind and urgent intervention as the state govt being now devoid of its powers cannot be expected to remain a silent spectator to the ongoing sufferings of the common people due to extraordinary price rise of essential commodities,” the letter further read.

Mamata also mentions that the amendment in the Act has usurped the powers of the state government and only the Central government can act to regulate agri-products.

In order to check rising prices, the West Bengal Chief Minister has urged the Central government to act immediately and take essential steps to stop hoarding and increase the supply of onion and potatoes.  

She also urged the Prime Minister to allow states to bring appropriate legislation in regard to their exercising control over the production, supply, distribution, and sale of the agricultural commodities.

Earlier on September 23, Parliament had passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill to remove cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion, and potatoes from the list of essential commodities. 

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