BHUBANESWAR: People resorted to panic buying on Wednesday leading to a steep rise in prices of essential commodities, including vegetables and fruits, in different parts of coastal, southern and interior Odisha. Thousands of buyers thronged markets in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to stock up on vegetables and dry food leading to skyrocketing of prices. Though the price of potato and onion remain unchanged, there was at least 25 per cent rise in price of vegetables.
Traders attributed it to the rise in demand from consumers, who procured commodities two to three times of their usual purchase in anticipation of vanishing stocks following the IMD warning of very severe cyclone.General secretary of Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangha Sudhakar Panda said there is no reason to panic as the required quantity of essential commodities has been stocked and green vegetables will arrive as usual. “Though we have been advising people to buy required quantity of commodities, they are in no mood to pay any heed. Markets witnessed heavy rush and people went for purchasing more tuber and dry foods besides vegetables,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department has directed district collectors to remain prepared for the ensuing very severe cyclone Titli. They have been asked to keep close watch on price and availability position of essential commodities in the market and ensure that food items are available at reasonable prices to the consumers.
Since disruption of supply of different commodities like pulses, edible oils, sugar, potato, onion, flattened rice and jaggery is apprehended, an official communication warned that unscrupulous traders may resort to unfair practices like hoarding and profiteering.
The market intelligence wing is keeping close watch on hoarding by unscrupulous traders and the State Government has warned action against people creating panic. “District chiefs have been instructed to deploy civil supply and market intelligence field staff for surprise checks and take action under provisions of Essential Commodities Act, 1995 against illegal hoarders if warranted,” Additional Secretary Jyoti Kumar Lakra said.