Bhubaneswar: Admitting spiral rise in retail prices of various essential commodities in the State, Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain termed it as a national problem.
“Reports of rising prices of different essential commodities like various pulses, edible oil, potatoes, and onions have come to the government’s notice. The rise in prices of these commodities is a national problem,” said Swain in reply to a question by BJP member Ganesh Ram Singh Khuntia during Question Hour today.
“Generally, our State depends on different neighbouring States for the aforementioned essential commodities and rise/fall in prices at the supply points of these commodities is felt in markets of our State,” he clarified.
The Minister listed out a slew of steps taken by the government to rein in the prices of these commodities.
He said that during the rise in prices of essential commodities the government convenes a meeting with traders of main mandis of the State to find out ways to control prices.
In addition to the above, orders are issued to Collectors of all districts to hold a meeting with local traders and ensure availability of the commodities at fair price and directive is issued to take action under the Essential Commodities Act-1955 against unscrupulous traders indulging in black marketing, he added.
The Minister stated that in order to prevent black marketing of pulses and pulses products, oilseeds and edible oil the State government has implemented ‘Odisha Specified Foodstuffs (Stock Holding Limit & Licensing) Order 2016.
Similarly, to prevent black marketing of potatoes and onions the government has promulgated Odisha Potato & Onion (Storage Control) Order 2015, he added.
Besides, the State government has constituted a Rs 100 crore Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) with the Centre on a proportionate basis for market intervention at the time of price rise of pulses, potatoes and onion, the Minister pointed out.
The Minister further pointed out that keeping in mind the interest of the consumers, the State has been selling onions on no profit no loss basis to the consumers in different major towns of the State