Bhubaneswar, July 5:
After the Union government’s directive to the states to crackdown on hoarders and black marketeers to rein in the prices of potato and onion, the Odisha government today issued orders to all district collectors to initiate tough action against all such elements under the Essential Commodities Act of 1955.
The Narendra Modi government has already imposed control orders on onions and potatoes under the Essential Commodities Act of 1955, and anyone hoarding stocks of these two food items beyond limits prescribed by the respective state governments will be liable for prosecution and even imprisonment.
The task of enforcing the order has been handed over to the state governments for a period of one year. The state governments can set their own stock limits, by taking into account their local demand-supply situation.
“We have issued directives to the district collectors today to take action against hoarding and black marketing of essential food items to rein in prices of potato and onion. We can book them under the Essential Commodities Act, which has enabled states to undertake effective de-hoarding operations by fixing stock limits in respect of these commodities in view of rising prices. The hoarders can be prosecuted and also criminal action can be taken against them,” said Civil Supply and Consumer Welfare secretary Madhusudan Padhi.
In order to combat price rise of the two staple items-potato and onion- the Odisha government had asked traders to keep the difference between the wholesale and retail prices within reasonable limits.
The government has also waived the fees collected by RMCs from vegetable and fruit to contain the price rise.