Salt rumours raise consumers BP
Citizens in the both the Telugu-speaking states have not taken the news of shortage of the most important ingredient in dishes with a pinch of salt.
Hyderabad: Citizens in the both the Telugu-speaking states have not taken the news of shortage of the most important ingredient in dishes with a pinch of salt.
Rather, people started believing the rumours of shortage of salt and headed to stores picking up salt four times the actual price.
Taking advantage of the situation were retailers who sold Rs 18 per kg salt (actual price) between Rs 70 and Rs 100 in Hyderabad.
In spite of the announcement by Finance Minister Eatala Rajender on Saturday that there was no scarcity of salt and sugar in the state and his appeal to the people not to believe rumours and warning of action against hoarding of salt, people thronged to shops to buy salt.
A wholesaler in Monda market, Gauri Shankar said that there is no shortage in production of salt but the problem is due to the lack labour and transport payment as they are not accepting the old currency notes because of which the trucks are not reaching the market.
He further said that because of this rumour there is a panic among the people. "Regularly I sell salt to 80 to 100 customers, but after this rumour of shortage, there were around 500 customers today," he said.
Panic buying of salt created artificial scarcity of the necessary commodity in Guntur and other places of Andhra Pradesh.
People made a beeline in front of grocery shops to buy the salt as rumors spread that salt stocks depleted in the market.
People thronged the shops in a big number and wait in the serpentine queues for hours to buy salt.
The government immediately swung into action and took necessary measures to curb the black marketing of salt and shopkeepers are warned of stringent action if anyone found to sell salt above the MRP.
“Just because no one is accepting the old notes and there is no proper circulation of new notes we are unable to make payments because of which there is no transportation of salt.
There is a panic among people. We are telling them that the stock will be normal in a or two day,” said Naveen Agarwal, a retailer in Monda market in Secunderabad.
Dismissing the rumours of shortage of salt, the Hyderabad Police on Saturday warned of strong action against those spreading such news.
In social media, some rumours have been spreading the idea that there is acute shortage of common salt. South Zone DCP, V Satyanarayana said, “Such news is absolutely false and baseless.
There is enough stock in wholesale and retail outlets and there is no need to panic.” Lack of small denomination currency triggered rumours of black marketing of essential commodities like salt as shopkeepers refused to provide change when offered with higher denomination notes.
In several states, there were reports of customers flocking to market as rumours flew thick and fast that salt has gone out of shelves and shopkeepers selling salt at a premium — as high as Rs 200 per kg.
“It is true that some people bought salt at prices ranging from Rs 30 to Rs 60 a kg last night,” said S R Nagar Inspector Mohammad Waheeduddin.
Panic buying of salt was witnessed in some parts of Borabanda in S R Nagar on Saturday. Many in Sriram Nagar and Vinayak Nagar of Borabanda were seen rushing to grocery stores after rumours of increase in salt prices surfaced.
GHMC once it got wind of retailers fleecing customers swung into action and raided four shops in Borabanda and made them close their shops. Police have been asked to identify the persons behind spreading rumours.
Meanwhile, similar scenes were reported in some parts of Old City but police said no panic buying was reported there. “There is no shortage of salt.
Adequate quantities of salt are available in the market in Hyderabad City,” said Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy.
A youngster in Vattepally, Yakutpura was taken into custody. South Zone DCP, V Satyanarayana visited parts of Old City to take stock of the situation and warned the traders and rumour mongers of booking under Essential Commodities Act.