Dharamshala: Acting tough to check hoarding of essential items, the government has reduced the storage quota of essential commodities to half for wholesalers and retailers in the state.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister GS Bali, while briefing media here today, claimed that the Food and Civil Supplies department taking strong steps to check rising prices of essential commodities and vowed to take strong steps against hoarders.

Bali revealed that the department has imposed limit for the storage of onions and potatoes as now it has fixed storage limit for onions at 10 quintals for wholesalers and 4 quintals for retailers. For potatoes the storage limit for wholesalers has been fixed at 20 quintals and 4 quintals for retailers. Department has also reduced the storage of other essential commodities like vegetables, pulses, oil seeds, sugar, vegetable oils, tea and iodised salt by fifty percent.

Bali said the Himachal Government was providing cheap foodgrains to residents on the Public Distribution System (PDS), but hoarders can create artificial scarcity of vegetables in the markets which led to price rise, he further added. Cabinet Minister clarified that such hoarders will be dealt strongly and government would take all possible measures to mitigate the concern of price rise.

Cabinet Minister also directed officials to frequently check the hoarding and keep tab on the wholesalers and retailers.

Earlier, in a conference of Ministers of Consumer Affairs of States and Union Territories at New Delhi, GS Bali had ensured Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to deliberate on the means to check price rise. He had appraised the conference that the state has taken various steps to mitigate the concern of price rise and frequently inspecting hoarding in the state. In order to put a check on price escalation, laws were being enforced strictly and 32,000 inspections were conducted on commercial establishments last year, Bali informed conference.