BJP fears artificial shortage of vegetables in Goa

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Panaji, April 22: Goa BJP today alleged that traders were trying to create artificial shortage in the local market by hoarding vegetables in the wake of anti-entry tax protests by vendors from Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The party said that the state government would initiate action against the vendors who are found indulging in hoarding of vegetables.

The traders from Belgaum (Karnataka) and Kolhapur (Maharashtra) have been protesting against the entry tax levied by the Goa government on the vehicles entering the state.

However, terming the tax as "illegal", these traders have stopped almost half of the supplies of the essential commodities like milk, vegetables and grocery items since yesterday.

BJP Goa Spokesman Subhash Faldesai, while addressing a press conference here today alleged that few of the vendors were trying to create artificial shortage in the market by hoarding vegetables in support of the traders from Belgaum and Kolhapur.

"The vendors are trying to create artificial shortage in the state by hoarding the vegetables. You can go around and see yourself that there is no shortage in the market currently. But the state government is locating all the places where artificial shortage can be created," he said.

The government would take action against the hoarders, the BJP leader aid, adding that the vendors cannot hoard these items for long as they are perishable.

Traders from Belgaum and Kolhapur are not allowing vehicles to enter Goa to protest against the imposition of the entry tax by the state government.

While majority of the vehicles with essential commodities like grocery, vegetables and milk arrived in the state today, traders have warned to intensify their agitation, which may result in the shortage of supplies in Goa market.

Faldesai alleged that some of the vendors from Hubli, Dharwad and Belgaum, who are selling vegetables in Goa market, might create artificial shortage, to benefit the traders from their native state.

He conceded that the Goa government has not sought any help from its Maharashtra or Karnataka counterparts to resolve the crisis.

The state government had not taken into confidence the associations of the traders, who are currently agitating, he admitted. "Nobody comes forward willingly to pay tax. We have to impose it," he said.

PTI

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