New Delhi: There is no shortage of onions, potatoes and tomatoes in Delhi and the current stock of these items in the national capital is higher than what it was in the corresponding period last year, Delhi government claimed today.
“The arrival of onions, potatoes and tomatoes in Delhi in the month of July, 2014, has been more than the consumption in the city. The arrivals are also more than what it was during this period last year,” Commissioner of Food and Supplies, SS Yadav, said today.
Officials said that an ‘ABCD' strategy (Availability, Better enforcement, Citizen awareness and Deregulation) has been devised to effectively control the prices of the vegetables and provide relief to people.
Yadav said there is no shortage of these commodities and claimed that timely and concerted efforts by Delhi government to improve supplies has led to better availability and stable prices of essential commodities in the city.
Raising consumer awareness by dissemination of information on prices through regular advertisements and lakhs of daily messages on mobile phones has served to prevent consumers from being cheated, he said.
According to official data, the average per day arrival of tomatoes so far this July has been 383MT per day as compared to only 264MT per day in July last year. The total arrival of tomatoes so far this month is 45 per cent higher than that in the corresponding period last year.
The average price of tomato this month has been 54 per cent lower than the price prevailing in July, 2013. Yadav said that the wholesale price of tomato on July 18 was between Rs 6/kg to Rs 27.25/kg but had ranged between Rs 12 and Rs 37.5/kg on the same day last year.
The average retail price of tomato in Delhi this July has been Rs 29/kg as compared to Rs 56.2/kg last July.
To improve availability of these commodities at reasonable rates, the government has started selling these at 70 government offices, 250 Fair Price Shops and through 70 Mobile Vans. Also, 380 SAFAL outlets are selling onions and potatoes on a ‘No Profit, No Loss' basis.
“The government has taken up a massive drive against wholesalers and retailers (to prevent) hoarding, black marketing, cheating and overcharging. In the last one month, more than 1,500 premises have been raided and 250 traders prosecuted who, upon conviction by court, may face imprisonment of up to seven years,” Yadav said.
The government has also taken steps to deregulate fruits and vegetables from the APMCs of Delhi.
The Department of Food and Supplies has also started a helpline, number 1967, where consumers can lodge grievances or get information about the prices of essential commodities along with details of the locations where the government is selling these items at reasonable rates.
The Department of Food, Supplies and Consumer Affairs of Delhi government is keeping a strict vigil on prices of 22 essential commodities and taking corrective action if they show any upward trend. It has also warned traders against hoarding and cheating consumers, said Yadav.