Home Ministry has directed States to ensure availability of essential goods at fair prices for public at large. In a letter to chief secretaries, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has asked the States to deal strictly with offences of hoarding, black marketing, profiteering and speculative trading. He asked them to ensure proper supply of food items, medicines and medical equipments by invoking provisions of Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
Mr. Bhalla emphasised that measures including fixing of stock limits, capping of prices, enhancing production, inspection of accounts of dealers and other such actions will be undertaken by the states at the earliest and at regular intervals to ensure production and supply of essential commodities.
He said that those not complying may be dealt severely as offences under Essential Commodities Act are considered as criminal offences and may result in imprisonment of seven years.