Delhi government imposes limits on food grain stocking

    By IANS,

    New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) The Delhi government will beginning Tuesday intensify raids against hoarders and ensure that traders comply with the limits on stock, said a senior official Monday.

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    “Nobody is going to be spared if found guilty of violating the storage norms. Criminal proceedings will be initiated against traders for not maintaining the stock limit provisions,” Vijay Dev, the Delhi government’s food and civil supplies commissioner, told IANS.

    As per the norms, a licensed trader can store up to 1,000 quintals of wheat and 2,000 quintals of pulses at any given point of time. The city government is short-listing the wholesale traders and will randomly check their storehouses.

    The central government’s Cabinet Committee on Prices (CCP) March 31 urged all state governments to impose the stock limit norms so that the prices of essential commodities do not rise on account of shortages caused by hoarding.

    Non-compliance with stock norms creates artificial shortage of food grains, leading to price rise, the official said.

    Delhi’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf Sunday alleged that some unscrupulous elements, including the ruling Congress’ political “rivals”, were trying to create artificial crisis of essential goods in the city.

    “There is shortage of essential commodities in the city, but some efforts are being made to create artificial crisis of food items in the market. It is being done in connivance with our rivals,” Yusuf told reporters at his residence here.

    Raids were conducted Sunday at various godowns for edible oils, rice, pulses, and other cereals.

    The government has so far raided over 250 places since the drive was launched Saturday. The drive will resume Tuesday.

    Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Saturday held an informal meeting of her cabinet and reviewed the price situation in the city. It has become an embarrassment for the Congress, which has decided to sell edible oil at Rs.55 to Rs.60 per litre through 25 outlets.

    The government has formed some 60 teams to conduct raids at the primary wholesale and retail markets like Chandni Chowk, Lawrence Road, Alipur, Azadpur, Najafgarh, Narela, and Krishna Nagar. Some 7,000 quintals of pulses were recovered from godowns in Lawrence Road.

    Teams from the weights and measures department of the city government Saturday also raided godowns for gas cylinders and prosecuted around 46 people after carrying about 100 inspections.

    The issue of price-rise is haunting the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government, as the city is scheduled to elect a new assembly in November this year. Price rise was even discussed last week at a Congress coordination committee meeting.

    AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot, Delhi Congress president J.P. Agarwal, union minister of state Ajay Maken, Delhi ministers A.K. Walia and R.K. Chauhan and legislator Tajdar Babar attended the meeting.