GUWAHATI: The sky rocketing prices of vegetables burned pockets of many citizens ahead of the 14-day lockdown which came into force in Guwahati on June 29. Many traders took advantage of the lockdown situation and charged customers high prices for their purchase.
In this regard, the government has now initiated measures as they are planning to slightly relax the lockdown next week for a period of two days, said sources. During the relaxation, the citizens will be able to buy vegetables at rates which the government has introduced in order to not hamper their pockets.
Taking stock of the situation, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Phani Bhusan Choudhury on Thursday chaired a meeting which was held with the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner and officials of Kamrup Chamber of Commerce (KCC) and other merchant organizations.
In the meeting, the minister fixed the wholesale and retail prices of potato and onion. According to reports, the minister has asked traders to charge Rs 24 (wholesale) for one kilo of potato and Rs 23 (wholesale) for one kilo of onion, while the retail price of one kilo each of potato and onion has been fixed at Rs 30.
The minister said that strict action will be taken against traders who charges more than the announced price.
Sources said that there is chance of two days relaxation in the lockdown norms after the seven-day period is over.
In the meeting price hike of onions and potatoes in retail market, before the ongoing lockdown was also discussed. The KCC assured the minister that under any circumstances maximum wholesale price for potatoes (Bengal Variety) and onions will not be more than Rs 24/kg and Rs 23/kg respectively.
It said that there is no need to resort to panic buying as there is sufficient stock of potatoes and onions in the State. It asserted that they will not allow any retailer/hawker to take any advantage of the lockdown.
Further, the KCC requested all the retailers to take proper bills from the wholesalers along with their contact details. This would help to maintain prices in the market.
Talking about the availability of food grains in the market, the Chamber said that there are stocks available in the State at least for the next three months. It underlined that food grain items are continuously coming in the State and there is no scarcity.