In a strange turn of events, the Congress Party opened a ‘State Bank of Tomato’ in the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow. This came after the reports of the request made by the Indore tomato wholesalers who requested a security cover for their stock. While it may sound like a satire, the Congress Party have actually done it as a protest against the increasing tomato prices. If reports are to be believed, if the people want to keep their red gold out of the reach of covetous hands, they need not worry as the State Bank of Tomato even provides lockers.
When one of the reporters went on to converse about this extraordinary development to a customer named Srikrishna Verma, the 103-year-old remarked that he never expected to see this. “I have deposited 0.5 Kg tomatoes, will get 1 Kg after 6 months” – he further added.
The heart of the matter is the unexpected rise in the prices of tomato over the last few weeks due to heavy rains in the tomato-growing states, which led to the crops being destroyed and affected the transportation. In the past two weeks, the tomato prices have soared from Rs.50-60/kg to Rs.90-100/kg in local vegetable markets. The prices are unlikely to change for the coming weeks till the crop is not received from key tomato growing states including Nashik in Maharashtra.
A large number of people flocked to the newly opened State Bank of Tomato as a long queue was seen outside the bank. The Congress members managing the bank said they are getting a great response and if it continues, they will have to open more branches of the bank.
However, the Government has asserted that it is keeping a close watch on price movements and improved production is supposed to bring down tomato prices from mid-August.