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Cold Storages In West Bengal Faces Financial Strain Due To Low Rent Rates

Updated: Feb 07, 2024 04:23:14pm

Cold Storages In West Bengal Faces Financial Strain Due To Low Rent Rates

Kolkata, Feb 7 (KNN) The West Bengal Cold Storage Association (WBCSA) has raised concerns over the financial challenges troubling cold storage facilities in the region.

Despite efforts to draw attention to the issue, operators continue to struggle with low government-approved rent rates, leading to significant economic strain.

At a recent press meet held at the Press Club in Kolkata, key figures from the WBCSA, including President Sunil Kumar Rana along with other officials and past presidents of the association, highlighted the pressing difficulties faced by cold storage operators.

The primary issue revolves around the rent rates set by the government for preserving agricultural produce, particularly potatoes.

However, it is noted that the government-approved rent rates have consistently been lower than the recommendations, resulting in a significant accumulated loss for cold storage operators.

Over the years, this gap has widened, resulting in an accumulated loss of Rs 21.35/quintal until 2021.

As a consequence, many facilities are facing financial difficulties, with some being classified as non-performing assets (NPAs) by banks.

Despite recommendations for rent revision, the government has not taken action since 2021, leading to a further under-recovery of Rs 9.95/quintal for the period between 2021 and 2022.

President Sunil Kumar Rana emphasised that while rent rates in other states range from Rs 230 to Rs 270 per quintal, cold storage operators in West Bengal are compelled to operate at rates as low as Rs 168 to Rs 172 per quintal.

This has resulted in a monetary loss of Rs 31.30/quintal for operators over the past two years.

Additionally, the inability to modernise facilities due to financial constraints poses further challenges, impacting the quality of service provided to farmers and hirers.

The WBCSA expressed concern over the potential closure of cold storage facilities and its adverse effects on the rural economy.

Urgent action is needed to address the rent disparity and alleviate the financial strain faced by cold storage operators in West Bengal.

Failure to do so may lead to severe consequences for the industry and its stakeholders in the near future.

(KNN Bureau)


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