Can a To­mato Bank Re­ally Bear Fruit?

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

Hope­fully, the State Bank of To­mato (SBT) launched by a lo­cal Youth Congress unit in Lucknow as a form of protest against the ris­ing price of the in­dis­pens­able veg­etable — or fruit, to be pre­cise — will not land the ‘pro­mot­ers’ in a soup. Fork­ing out .₹ 100 for a kilo of toma­toes def­i­nitely makes In­di­ans see red, but the terms of­fered by SBT may not stand up to scru­tiny. One bank ‘de­pos­i­tor’, for in­stance, has re­vealed that his 500-gm de­posit would earn him a kilo in six months’ time. How­ever, con­sid­er­ing the re­al­ity that the price of toma­toes will in­evitably fall to a frac­tion of the cur­rent rate, double the weight at a later date may ac­tu­ally be far less than the de­posited value. It may be wiser for po­ten­tial to­mato savers to care­fully ex­tract the seeds and de­posit them in pots for a greater as­sured re­turns. How the other pur­ported of­fers of the SBT such as “80% loans on toma­toes” and “at­trac­tive in­ter­est rates for de­posit­ing toma­toes, es­pe­cially for the poor” ac­tu­ally work out re­mains to be seen too. As for SBT’s lock­ers for safe­keep­ing — pre­sum­ably in re­sponse to some traders re­port­edly ask­ing for se­cu­rity cover from to­mato thieves — can­ning or bot­tling would surely be the more sen­si­ble op­tion. The to­mato bank’s pro­mot­ers are pre­sum­ably aware that if they fail to de­liver, the long arm of the law will ketchup with them.

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