Before the chaos over poor cash flow due to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes subsided, rumours of salt shortage led to frenzy in various parts of the Uttar Pradesh.
Reports said shortage rumours not only led to panic purchasing but ended up in fights among consumers and sellers as the cost plummeted to Rs 100 to Rs 200 and at some places to Rs 400.
In Kanpur, police had to lathicharge buyers who were robbing shops of salt packets.
The authorities, meanwhile, sought calm and stressed that these were only rumours.
“There is enough salt and we can get it distributed from the fair price shop to satisfy people and make up for the shortage that may have been caused by bulk buyout,” said Kanpur district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma.
1. No shortage in the supply of edible salt.Baseless rumors being spread. Salt Commissioner& Jt.Secretary Shri Raghavendra monitoring ....— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) November 11, 2016
2.the situation. Asst.Salt Commissioners reporting from the field. No shortage. Monitoring will be on-going. Feedback may be given #mociseva— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) November 11, 2016
He appealed to the people to not pay heed to the rumours.
Similar reports also came in from Bareilly where the DM said the police had been alerted.
“We are looking into the matter. Strict action will be taken against those selling salt at higher prices,” said DM Bareilly Pankaj Yadav.
In Meerut, ADM city Mukesh Chandra said that announcement was made from police patrol vehicles. Officials have made similar requests to make announcements from loudspeakers of mosques, temples and Ggurudwaras.