Himachal Pradesh government to take stern action against hoarding and profiteering of essential commodities

Shimla: The State Government would not hesitate to take stern action against those involved in hoarding and profiteering of essential commodities during the corona pandemic. This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while virtually interacting with the officers of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department and HP State Civil Supplies Corporation from Shimla today.

Chief Minister said that the department should ensure availability of essential commodities at reasonable prices and check unlawful trade practices by effectively implementing the provisions of Essential Commodities Act in the State. He said that the department must maintain smooth supply of essential commodities to the consumers at reasonable rates and take corrective measures to check the hoarding and profiteering by the traders.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government has invoked H.P. Hoarding and Profiteering Prevention Order 1977, H.P. Commodities Price Marking and Display Order 1977 and H.P. Trade Articles (Licensing and Control) Order 1981 from April, 2021 to check any kind of trade malpractices. He said that these orders would remain in force till 31st October this year. He said that as many as 4638 inspections have been conducted during last about one month to discourage the traders from overcharging and hoarding.

Chief Minister said that Targeted Public Distribution System in the State was functioning effectively through a network of 5028 fair price shops catering to the needs of 19,17,302 ration card holders. He said that all the ration card holders were being provided three pulses, salt, sugar and edible oil at subsidized rates under the State Subsidy Scheme.

Jai Ram Thakur said that Himachal Pradesh was one of the first State in the country to implement One Nation – One Ration Card Scheme under National Food Security Act (NFSA). He said that the State Government has also launched Intrastate Ration Card Portability from 6th of January last year. He said that this has helped the consumers in getting essential commodities wherever they wish.

Chief Minister said that all the NFSA families were being provided 2 kg rice and 3 kg wheat per person per family free of cost for two months i.e. May and June, 2021 under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna-III. He said that about 5606.06 MT rice and 8368.58 MT wheat have been lifted by the Fair Price Shop holders for the month of May, 2021. He said that the department has also procured about 5400 MT wheat from the farmers of the State.

Jai Ram Thakur directed the officers of the department and corporation to be extra vigilant during this pandemic so that general public could be facilitated.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Rajender Garg while addressing the meeting virtually from Bilaspur said that the department was ensuring that the consumers get adequate and uninterrupted supply of essential commodities. He assured the Chief Minister that the department would spare no efforts to come up to his expectations.

Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies Rajneesh welcomed the Chief Minister and detailed steps being taken by the department and corporation for the welfare of the consumers.

Managing Director State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Mansi Sahay Thakur detailed the achievements of the Corporation.

Director Food and Civil Supplies Department Ram Kumar Gautam presented vote of thanks.

Advisor to Chief Minister Dr. R.N. Batta and senior officers of the State Government were also present on the occasion.