GUWAHATI, Sept 8 - Faced with public outrage over spiralling prices of onions and instances of overcharging of the kitchen staple by some traders, the Kamrup Metro district administration has issued a set of guidelines, besides forming special squads for inspection of vegetable markets.
Official sources said that while inspections by teams of officials have helped in nabbing over a dozen unscrupulous onion retailers and seizure of a huge consignment of onions in the last few days, the district authority has also issued an order under relevant clauses of the Assam Trade Articles (Licensing & Control) Order 1982 and notifications issued by the Food and Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department, asking onion traders to comply with a series of directives.
As per the order, no dealer can carry on the �business of purchase, sale and storage for sale of onion� without obtaining a valid licence under provisions of the relevant law of the local municipal body/town committee/panchayati raj institutions in the territorial jurisdiction of Kamrup Metro district.
The order will remain in force till July 2016.
Dealers have been directed to display the prices and stocks of onion in the local language. They can also display the same in any other language.
The administration has fixed a specified price list under which retailers can take a maximum of Rs 6 per kg over the cash memo price issued by the wholesaler, depending upon the quality of the onion. Dealers have also been forbidden to withhold from sale of onion ordinarily kept for sale.
Dealers have been directed to issue a cash memo or a bill stating his or her name, quality, quantity, rate and total price charged for onion and to keep a duplicate copy of such memo or bill. However, this rule will not be applicable for any retailer selling onions worth less that Rs 100 unless the bill copy is demanded by the customer.
Officials said that dealers involved in import or purchase of onion in bulk by rail or road movement from outside Assam will have to furnish a weekly return in form �D� before the district administration at regular intervals and all dealers involved in import, purchase, sale and storage for sale of onion as a wholesaler or sub-wholesaler will have to furnish a declaration regarding his or her place of business and godown where the stock of onion is stored.
Besides, such wholesalers and sub-wholesalers have been directed to maintain a stock register of daily accounts for onions showing the opening stock of each day, the quantity received on each date showing the place and sources from which the item was received, the quantities delivered or removed on each day showing the places of destination and the closing stock on each day.
Dealers will have to enter the stock register in quintals and bags or packets they have been told to complete the entries in the stock register for each day latest by the beginning of the transaction on the following day.
They have been barred from entering into any transaction involving purchase, sale or storage for sale of onion in a �speculative manner� prejudicial to the maintenance and easy availability of their supplies in the market.
The administration has warned onion traders that non-compliance with the directives will be dealt with sternly as per the Essential Commodities Act 1995.