Minister instructs district collectors to curb price hikes and trader exploitation

The minister, however, did not prefer to invite members of different trading and merchant associations to the review meeting.
Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Krushna Chandra Patra
Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Krushna Chandra Patra Photo | X - @KrushnaPat56655

BHUBANESWAR: With prices of essential commodities spiralling after the general elections, the state government on Sunday directed the officials of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department to keep a close watch on unscrupulous traders.

Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Krushna Chandra Patra took a review of the prices of essential commodities in open markets across the state at a meeting in Lok Seva Bhawan and asked the department authorities to ensure that consumers are not exploited by traders.

The minister directed all district collectors to instruct the field staff of Food Supplies department and law enforcing agencies to keep a close tab on the wholesale and retail price of all essential commodities and take strict action against the hoarding and profiteering motive of traders.

Officers present at the meeting informed the minister that market-intelligent officials of the department are conducting regular checks on godowns of wholesalers and stocks of retailers in major markets of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Puri.

The minister, however, did not prefer to invite members of different trading and merchant associations to the review meeting.

General secretary of Odisha Byabasayee Sangha Sudhakar Panda said the review meeting by the minister is meaningless without participation of traders and members of trading association as government officers are ignorant about ground realities. He said such meetings will serve little purpose unless the traders are taken on board and given an opportunity to be heard.

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