Grappling with rising prices of essential commodities, the Delhi government has decided to bring in a new law to curb the problem.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday said her government was “seriously considering” formulating an Act that tackles price-rise in various essential commodities.
The only tool the government currently uses to control price-rise-related issues like hoarding and back marketing is the Essential Commodities Act.
“We are awaiting permission from the Centre to strengthen the Essential Commodities Act as well,” she said at a function.
“We are also monitoring the arrival of foodgrains, fruits and vegetables in Delhi. Immediate remedial measures are taken in case arrival and availability of these items is noticed to be unusual,” she said.
Sources said Dikshit had communicated to officials the need to prepare the contours of a new law, which would give more teeth to the Weights and Measures and the Food and Civil Supplies department to check inflationary tendencies.
“Delhi is a major wholesale market. We have taken advantage of that fact and tried retailing essential commodities at wholesale rates. That seems to have worked for now,” said Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta.
“We will look at all the aspects and the necessary scope of the new law to tackle this problem,” he said.
The good news is in the past week, prices have come down.
Premium quality sugar is selling up to Rs 5 cheaper, while pulses like Arhar, Urad, Malka and Moong are priced upto Rs 5 and 20 cheaper compared to last week. In the past few weeks, the government has taken to selling wheat-flour and pulses at highly subsidised rates.
The government is offering a 10-kg pack of whole-wheat flour at Rs 139, which costs around Rs 189 in the market.