State government sets up high-level panel to monitor prices

Minister G. Jagadish Reddy at the newly-organised vegetable bazaar in Nalgonda on Thursday.  

The State government has focused on measures to ensure availability of essential commodities in view of the lockdown to counter spread of coronavirus.

The high-level committee constituted to monitor prices under the chairmanship of Agriculture secretary B. Janardhan Reddy met here on Thursday to review the availability of commodities and monitor the prices at which they were being sold. The committee stressed the need for ensuring availability of vegetables and fruits besides creating awareness among people against wasting these essential commodities during critical times.

The normal requirement of vegetables was of the order of 22,000 to 24,000 quintals in the city and the arrival was around 21,954 quintals on Thursday indicating that there was no shortfall of supplies. The marketing department had been directed to accordingly organise as many mobile rythu bazars as possible to reduce density in the regular rythu bazars. As of now, 61 mobile rythu bazars had been pressed into service at 101 locations and their number would be progressively increased. The committee opined that these mobile rythu bazars should be permitted to charge ₹ 5 over and above the regular prices for their commodities. The committee directed the district collectors to constitute price monitoring committees at their level with immediate effect.

The committee had decided to encourage the weekly shanties in towns/cities as these would ensure reduction in density at regular rythu bazars. Towards this end, there was need for an integrated effort by all stakeholders including the police, marketing and horticulture departments that should work in tandem with the farmers and farm labour. This would also send a message that the government was committed to providing essential commodities at reasonable prices.

Steps should be taken to caution commission agents and traders against exploiting the situation and they should be warned that serious action would be taken against those found guilty of hoarding. Agriculture labour should be sensitised in the use of sanitisers while there should also be uninterrupted movement of vegetables. Accordingly, vehicles carrying essential commodities should not be stopped by police at inter-State borders.

Since transportation of vegetables was one-way activity, the police should not stop the empty vehicles that were returning after delivering the commodities at the designated markets. The GHMC, on its part, should coordinate with residents’ welfare associations in preparing route maps and identifying sales points while ensuring that social distancing was maintained at all these points.

Online service providers

The committee felt that Zomato, Swiggy and other online service providers should be encouraged to join hands in delivery of essential commodities. Super markets should be asked to use online service providers to send essential commodities. In addition, private entrepreneurs or persons interested in procuring vegetables in bulk quantities for select areas for mobile rythu bazars could contact the estate officers/secretaries of market committees for their requirements.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 5:06:49 AM |

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