Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 23:
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department is verifying the stock position of Manashya Associates, the pulses trader whose godown was raided by the department on Thursday in Mancheswar area of Odisha capital and if any irregularities are found, appropriate action as envisaged by law will be taken, informed Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Das Burma here today.
“Presently, we have only sealed the premises with lock and key. For seizure there is a procedure which has to be maintained. We will first seek to know what his stock limit is. Then we will go for physical verification. Only after that it will be known what irregularities or dislocation have been committed. Whatever action is deemed under the law will be taken. Stringent action will be taken if any irregularities are found,” said Das Burma.
The godown of Manashya Associates which was raided by the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department on Thursday evening has been sealed by the department today, while verification of stocks and documents is on.
Officials have estimated the stock of pulses kept in the godown to be 1807 quintals. Though government rules provide for holding of a maximum of 750 quintals of pulses can be stored by a trader at a given point of time.
Acting on a tip off that pulses were illegally hoarded in the godown, a team of officials of the Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare department led by assistant collector of Khurda district Rabinarayan Barik raided the premises.
The raid was ordered the Khurda collector, officials in the raid party said yesterday. It is said to have been conducted on the basis of market intelligence reports of the department.
Large number of poly sacks packed with pulses was found stacked inside the godown, an equal quantity was found lying on the floor of the godown.
The raid party had to wait for nearly 45 minutes outside the godown as nobody opened its gates which were locked from inside. Left with no option, the assistant collector was forced to break open the locks using a drilling machine.
However, the owner of the godown Anil Agarwal arrived at the spot after watching reports on television channels that his godown was being raided.
Agarwal had said on Thursday that though he could not say the exact quantity of pulses stored in his godown without going through documents but had emphasized that it was certainly much below the statutory limit of 750 quintals.
He had claimed that he was a petty trader in the pulses market in Odisha and had imported dal from Maharashtra and Karnataka using waybills issued by the state government for sale in the state. There was nothing illegal in his transactions, he had added.
The action in the state was following directions from the Centre to act against hoarders of pulses, particularly arhar and urad dal, in the backdrop of the unprecedented rise in their prices. Wholesale traders across the country have attributed the increase to illegal hoarding.