Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 23:
With the price of kitchen essential potato still high in retail markets despite arrival of sufficient quantity of potato in the state over the last few days, the Odisha Food Supply and Consumer Welfare department today asked all district Collectors to crack the whip on the potato traders involved in hoarding of the kitchen essential.
“The district enforcement squads may be deployed to inspect the business premises of potato traders along with police personnel and appropriate action be taken against the traders who have hoarded large quantity of potato as per the provision of Essential Commodity Act, 1955,” said Food Supply and Consumer Welfare secretary Madhusudan Padhi in a letter to all the district collectors.
Padhi said although sufficient quantity of potato have been arriving in the last seven days, it is presumed that the traders are hoarding a bulk of market arrivals with an intention to create a shortage in the near future.
“The retail prices are still ruling quite high causing distress to consumers,” said Padhi.
He rubbished media reports that the West Bengal government may impose a fresh ban on potato transportation from August 24.
Wholesale traders said that they have been selling potato between Rs 20 and Rs 22 for a kg, but the price of a kilo of tuber in retail market continues to vary from Rs 26 to Rs 28.
Secretary of Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangh, Sudhakar Panda said although they have been selling potato at a reasonable price, they had no control over the retail market.