The Indian state government is clamping down on potato hoarders now the price of spuds has risen to Rs 22 in many markets.
The government says the price rise is unjustified as there is a stock of 15 lakh metric tonnes of potato in the state.
State finance minister Asim Dasgupta says the cost is escalating fast due to the future trading of commodities.
Dasgupta explained that as the government was selling potatoes for Rs 13 a kg from 20 markets and 40 in the districts, some cold storage owners were hoarding them for future use, so the price was soaring. He added, however, that the price of potato was over Rs 20 throughout India.
He feared that other essentials, like sugar, would also turn dearer soon.
The minister said the government would declare its strategy on how to provide relief to consumers and the enforcement department announced it will raid cold potato storage warehouses.