COVID-19 Lockdown: Odisha Traders’ Body Urges Govt Not To Harass Retailers

Bhubaneswar: Amid soaring prices of essential commodities during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangh on Wednesday expressed grave concern over the harassment of the traders.

Talking to the media here, general secretary of the Mahasangh, Sudhakar Panda maintained that there was no artificial hoarding of essential items in any parts of the state.

“Though there is enough stock of the essential items in the godowns, the traders are not able to bring essential commodities from the wholesalers due to the lockdown guidelines. With the government putting a ban on two-wheelers and asking people to bring the essential items by foot, the traders are facing problems in ferrying items from the wholesalers. Their vehicles are being seized and they are being beaten by police,,” he alleged.

“On an average, each retailer brings about 2-3 quintal of essential items from the wholesalers on bike every day. But if they are not allowed to bring these items, they cannot sell them to the consumers in their locality which will ultimately result in acute shortage of these items in their area,” he pointed out.

Explaining the harassment of retailers, he said though the traders’ body had discussed the issue with the state government, the decision taken by the senior officials are not being properly communicated to the officers and the policemen, who are working in the field. Due to the communication gap and lack of coordination, the retailers are suffering.

“Taking these into consideration, I request the state government and the Director General of Police (DGP) to intervene in the matter at the earliest give specific instructions to the field staff to allow the retailers to use their bike to bring the essential commodities from the wholesalers,” Panda added.

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