As covid crisis has wreaked havoc on lives of people, some cold-blooded businessmen are trying to take benefit of this situation by increasing price of products. The government is planning to enact Essential Commodities Act in various States and Union Territories (UTs) to stop traders from exploiting common masses.
Piyush Goyal, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Railways and Commerce and Industry told officials to closely monitor prices of essential commodities in various States/UTs. He directed Department of Consumer Affairs officials to make sure that adequate stock of relevant commodities is maintained to create a buffer so that prices can be kept stable.
The Union Minister said that States can enact Provisions of Essential Commodities Act if any miller, wholesaler or retailer etc tries to exploit people and take undue advantage of the Covid situation by hoarding essential commodities.
Department of Consumer Affairs has the responsibility to collect data about prices from 157 centres of 34 states/UTs. All these States/UTs have to monitor the prices of all 22 essential Commodities. They have to especially monitor prices of pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and milk and report early signs of any unusual price rise. If any unusual price rise is seen then the government will intervene to ensure that these food items are provided at usual prices to consumers.
Secretary of Department of Consumer Affairs had also organized a meeting about maintaining fair prices of Essential Commodities. Principal secretaries of states were also present in this meeting. Consumer Affairs Department also directed all Stockholders like millers, traders, importers, etc. to make public their stocks of pulses so that it can be verified by State/ UTs Governments.