The Government's move to bring potatoes and onion under essential commodities Act, 1955 for 1 year will definitely curb hoarding which is resulting in rise in food prices. The decision of the stock holding limit is left to the State Governments.
In Delhi Home Minister Rajnath Singh directed massive crackdown against hoarding of essential commodities including onion and potatoes and asked the administration to take steps to control price rise. Delhi LG took stock of the price situation in the national capital and directed that every step should be taken to control the prices of essential commodities and strong action should be taken against hoarders. The BJP Government at the Centre has initiated of establishing vegetable centres at metro stations and at community centres in the city where commodities like onion, potato will be available to public at rate fixed by the Government.
The national capital is under President's rule and administratively under the control of the Home Ministry at present. "We are trying to control the problem since last month. Measures like deployment of mobile vans, increase in Safal shops etc. have been taken," Delhi LG Najeeb Jung said.
What is hoarding?
Hoarding is an illegal activity practised by a group people to accumulate certain commodities when the supply is less and later sell it in the market at higher prices when the demand is high. Such illegal practise which is also referred as black marketing leads to inflation and thus effects the overall growth of the economy. Recently onion prices are on rise and the possibility of below normal monsoon due to EL Nino weather phenomenon have led to shortage in supply. The Government is taking all measures to check onion hoarders.
How hoarders have exploited farmers, common man
Hoarding and black marketing is the main reason behind farmers suffering in India. In a country where farmers are under huge debt and poor monsoon further add to their woes, hoarders need to be immediately checked. Prices of essential commodities are rising due to rampant hoarding and black marketing of vegetables like onions and potatoes. The common man too suffers as a result of hoarding.
State Governments have been asked several times to crack down on hoarding and black-marketing at the retail level and will be asked again. To check hoarding three States -- Chattisgarh, West Bengal and Delhi -- have sought the Central Government's permission to impose a stock control order on onion traders.
The anti-hoarding law or the Essential Commodities Act focuses to protect consumers from paying higher prices of essential commodities. The law focuses on regulation of production, distribution of commodities to improve supply and curb prices.
The Government has implemented the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act and the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act with assurance to citizens of curbing prices and urged the States to continue their vigil on this front.