May 20, 2021 9:07:43 am
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on Wednesday asked officials to keep a “strict watch” on prices of essential commodities in states and Union Territories.
Reviewing provisions for keeping the prices of essential commodities in check, Goyal also asked the officials of the Department of Consumer Affairs to ensure that adequate stock of relevant commodities are maintained to create a buffer to cushion the unusual price shocks and keep prices stable. He also asked officials to use various provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to check hoarding of essential items.
“The Union Minister said that the Provisions of Essential Commodities Act to be enforced by States if any Miller, Wholesaler or Retailer etc tries to take undue advantage of the Covid situation and hoards the essential commodities,” the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said in a statement.
Goyal’s review meeting comes at a time when retail prices of at least two pulses – tur/arhar and urad – along with edible oils have increased in recent days. According to data on the Department of Consumer Affairs’ portal, the price of tur/arhar in Delhi has increased by 8 per cent to Rs 117 per kg on May 17 from Rs 108 per kg a month ago. The price of urad has increased from 115 per kg on April 17 to 120 per kg on May 17, the data shows.
The meeting took place two days after Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan reviewed the action taken by states and union territories for “disclosure” of stock of pulses by millers, importers, traders.
On May 14, the Department Consumer Affairs had written to all states and UTs, asking them to “use the power” under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and to direct all stockholders like millers, traders, importers to declare the stocks of pulses. It had also asked state governments to verify the disclosures made by the millers, traders and importers.
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