A day after rumours about shortage of salt triggered panic among people in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday dismissed such “concocted rumours” and emphasised that adequate quantity is available in every state. “Some people are spreading irresponsible rumours, like it happened yesterday regarding salt. It is there in adequate quantity in every state,” he said at a media conference in Delhi.
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Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the “authorities are on the field and reporting back. No shortage”.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which comes under the Commerce and Industry Ministry, said there is sufficient stock of salt in the country. “Do not panic, plenty of edible salt stocks are available in North Eastern Sates, Bihar an West Bengal. Say No To Rumours!” it tweeted.
In Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said there is no shortage of salt in any district of the state and directed district collectors to strictly monitor the situation and take action against anyone found hoarding salt or engaged in spreading rumours.
“The rumours of salt shortage could be the handiwork of some quarters trying to withhold salt pan land whose lease has expired last month,” a senior officer said on condition of anonymity.
Salt pan land stretches across 5,500 acres across Mumbai island-city and its suburbs. In October, 1,800 acres of salt pan land given to individuals on long lease expired, paving the way for the Centre and state government to reclaim the land.
In Hyderabad, Deputy Mayor Baba Fasiuddin and MLA Maganti Gopinath visited some shops at Borabanda area and asked police to file cases against those found selling salt at higher prices, a release said.