Lucknow, Aug 3: In a unique way to protest against the increasing prices of tomato, the Congress in Lucknow has opened up a bank called ‘State Bank of Tomato’. As per reports, the bank will operate from 10 am to 5 pm every day. Interestingly, the bank promises lucrative benefits to anyone who deposits their ‘valuable commodity’ (tomatoes), in the bank.

According a report in The Times of India, the customers of the bank can get Fixed Deposit (FD) on tomatoes, loans and locker facilities. the bank also promises a return of 5 times on the initial tomato deposit, as well as providing affordable finance to those who’re too poor to buy tomatoes at the current market rate.

The report quotes a customer, Srikrishna Verma as saying that she has deposited 0.5 kg tomatoes. “I will get 1 kg after 6 months. I’m 103-year-old, never thought I would have to see this,” she added. (ALSO READ: Tomato Prices Drop Marginally in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai as Supply Improves)

A long queue of customers was seen outside the bank here, while people saying that due to the fear of tomatoes getting stolen from their houses, they have brought their tomatoes to deposit in the bank.

A 103-year-old man was also a part of the queue, who said that he had never thought he would have come to a bank to deposit tomatoes. “I have deposited 500 grams of tomatoes and will get back one kilogram back after six months,” he said.

The Congress members, managing the bank, said they are getting great response and if it continues, they will have to more branches of the bank. Not just this, with tomato prices skyrocketing, it has become important in the whole sale vegetable market of Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city, to guard the pricey vegetable. (ALSO READ: ‘Tomato prices likely to decline in next 15 days’)

It has been reported that in the wake of soaring tomato prices, cases of theft in the vegetable market of Indore have cropped up and has created tension amongst the sellers.

The sellers now to safe guard the expensive vegetable, have deployed security guards to safeguard tomatoes. However, it is not only Indore, as similar incidents of tomatoes being stolen have been reported from other parts of the nation as well. (ALSO READ: Shortage of Supply Soars Tomato Prices to Over Rs 90 Per kg in 17 Major Cities)

Approximately 300 kilograms of tomatoes were stolen from the vegetable market in Mumbai’s Dahisar earlier this week on July 20. The tomatoes were worth Rs 70,000. Reportedly, the police have registered a case in the regard and are investigating the matter.

Since past few weeks, the prices of tomatoes have tremendously increased owing to crop damage in producing states. The government has asserted that it is keeping a close watch on price movements.

Tomatoes, in various parts of the nation, are still being sold at Rs 100-120 per kilogram. However, improved production is supposed to bring down tomato prices from mid-August and September.

(Inputs from ANI)