Odisha to crack down on onion hoarders

Bhubaneswar, Aug 23 (IANS) The Odisha government on Sunday asked district collectors to crack down on hoarders following a public outcry due to the skyrocketing prices of onion and pulses.

The Food Supply and Consumer Welfare (FS&CW) department officials have been asked to form special squads and swoop down on hoarders and black marketers, said an official.

FS&CW Minister Sanjay Dasburma said the district collectors have been asked to maintain a strict vigil on the hoarders and implement the Essential Services Act strictly in the state.

Citing reason for the increasing item of the products, he said that while Odisha depends on other states for onion and dal, around 35 percent production has decreased across the state resulting high rise of the products.

He said they would fix a rational price of dal in the state after consulting various stakeholders that would serve the interest of consumers.

Onion and pulse price have been soaring constantly at the retail market across the state for over last one month due to inadequate supply from out of state depots against the heavy consumer demands daily.

Onion is being sold at Rs.60 a kg while dal is priced at Rs.150 in the state, said Sudhakar Panda, state traders’ association secretary.

Meanwhile, the supply department officials have been asked to maintain a strict vigil on the retailers so that they display the receipts of the rate bought from the wholesaler and earn only a profit range of Rs.2-3 over the wholesale rate instead of thrusting a monopoly on the daily market.

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