Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 27:
In a clear case of flexing of muscles with the Odisha government, the Cuttack Chamber of Commerce (CCC) today decided to stop imports of all kinds to Malgodown, the largest business hub of wholesalers of consumables in Cuttack city for an indefinite period from today in protest against the ongoing raids on traders for keeping pulses beyond the prescribed quantity limit.
The decision for stopping of imports was taken at a meeting of the CCC held this evening.
“We decided to stop import of not not only pulses but sugar, edible oil and all types of items to Malgodown from today. If the need so arises we will close down our businesses and deposit keys of our establishments to the collector. We cannot do business under such circumstances,” said Prasant Patra member CCC briefing reporters here after the meeting.
Patra claimed raids on dal godowns across the state were opposed by the Odisha Byabasayee Sangh adding that they would continue with their stir till the government releases seized stocks of pulses to the concerned traders.
“A meeting was held yesterday with the Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Sanjay Das Burma. The Minister had said that there will be no raids. But after a lapse of only few hours, department officials again conducted raids. We protest such doublespeak of the government. The government should make its stand clear,” Patra stated.
Notably, officials of the Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs continued with their raids on godowns of traders in Brahmapur, Koraput, Malkangiri and other places on suspicion of hoarding of pulses in excess of the prescribed limit. While no hoarding of pulses was detected during raids in Malkangiri, more than 2300 quintals of dal kept in excess of the prescribed limit was seized in Brahmapur today.
Traders had during their meeting with the Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister had demanded review of Odisha Specified Foodstuffs (Stock Holding Limit) Order, 2010 keeping in view the market demand. The minister had assured the traders that a decision with to regard to review of the stock holding limit will be taken within 15 days.
As per Odisha Specified Foodstuffs (Stock Holding Limit) Order, 2010, a stockist can at best hold 750 quintals of pulses at one time according to the Odisha Specified Foodstuffs (Stock Holding Limit) Order, 2010.
The minister had made it clear at traders in the state will have display a list of stocks and prices of pulses sold by them.
However, during the raids it has been found that traders were holding more pulses than the specified limit, sources revealed.