West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee proposed center to give permission for poppy cultivation

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has requested the Centre to allow poppy cultivation in the state, claiming that it is crucial to Bengali cuisine as the seeds are used in many dishes. Banerjee noted that poppy cultivation is currently only allowed in a few states, causing the seeds to be expensive.

“We have said that the state will cultivate it in agriculture farms. If we can grow poppy here, we will get them at Rs 100 (per kg), instead of Rs 1,000. At times, we have to take decisions unanimously. Not all poppies are drugs,” she claimed.

The state government has been trying to obtain permission to grow poppy, which is a highly regulated crop due to its association with opium production. Banerjee made these comments during budget discussions regarding the Food and Supplies Department.

“Bengalis love ‘posto’. Why should it be cultivated in only four states? Why not in West Bengal, despite it being on our menu every day?” she said.

“Why will we have to purchase ‘posto’ from other states at high prices? Why will West Bengal not get permission for its cultivation? I will ask members of the opposition to write to the Centre on it,” the CM said on Thursday.

In addition, Banerjee also requested that the Centre provide tax relief to two varieties of rice produced in West Bengal, ‘gobindobhog’ and ‘tulaipanji,’ similar to the relief provided to ‘basmati’ rice.

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