Collectors asked to book unscrupulous traders

Bhubaneswar: With the prices of pulses spiralling up by Rs 30 to Rs 45 a kilo in last one month, Odisha govenrment today asked the district collectors to book the unscrupulous traders under Essential Commodities Act, official sources said.

“If necessary, the unscrupulous traders may be booked under Essential Commodities Act and on ground of stock holding order violations and violations of stock and price declaration orders,” Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Secretary M S Padhi said in letters to all the district collectors.

Stating that prices of different pulses like Arhardal, Biridal, Mungdal, Buntdal and Masurdal are on the rise in the open market, Padhi asked the collectors to convene meeting of traders and ensure that no one take advantage of the situation.

He said price rise is mainly due to less pulses production owing to unseasonal rains in the states like Maharastra, Uttar Pradesh Chhattishgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

Padhi cautioned the collectors that the unscrupulous traders may take advantage of the situation and indulge into high profiteering which may led to discontentment among the people at large. “The traders should sale the pulses with resonable price,” he said.

Secretary of Odisha Byabasayee Sangha Sudhakar Panda said, “Pulses were grown in less area and the unseasonal rain damaged rabi crop. Besides, there is no check on prices of pulses.”

Sources said Odisha requires 7 lakh lakh metric tonne pulses an annum, while only 80,000 tonne to one lakh metric ton is produced in the state.