Festival season approaching, Center asks states to crack down on hoarders

tomatoThe Centre requested states to crack down on hoarders of essential commodities ahead of the festival season, and if necessary, create a special police department for the purpose.

As of now, only Tamil Nadu has a special police department dedicated to prevention of hoarding and other price manipulation of essential commodities.

At a meeting held in Delhi, the centre also asked the states to ensure that wholesalers and importers displayed their stock information and disposed of imported pulses within 45 days.

The meeting reviewed availability of pulses and sugar and stock limits imposed by States thereon, bringing down price difference between wholesale and retail, lifting of pulses from Central Buffer Stock and strict enforcement of Packaged Commodities Rules.

States were also asked to strengthen Information Mechanism to monitor prices of essential commodities and its daily reporting from various markets to the Centre. They were also requested to increase number of such reporting centres so that price reporting mechanism may be made more broad-based.

States informed the centre that the prices of pulses have started registering downward trends in recent weeks and expected to decline further.

They also promised that stock limits on essential commodities have been imposed and in view of coming festival season, strict monitoring will be done to check hoarding of essential commodities.

They were mentioned that huge margin between wholesale and retail price, which varies from 7% to 32% at various places is a cause of concern. In this regard, states agreed to hold periodical meetings with wholesalers and retailers to rationalize this margin.

States expressed their willingness to seek more allocation of pulses from Buffer Stock. So far, about 7000 MT have been lifted by the States.