GUWAHATI, April 22 - Lack of coordination among various authorities, especially the district administration and the police, has hindered transportation of FMCG items, especially packaged food like biscuits, chocolates, etc., in the State.
The situation is all the more unwarranted, given that many retailers in the city are running dry of FMCG products. A city-based trader, who deals in both wholesale and retail, told The Assam Tribune that truckloads of FMCG items were facing wastage in the godowns as he had not been able to procure the transportation passes.
Questions have also arisen whether favouritism and red-tapeism in the officialdom are playing a role in determining who gets the required passes.
�I have been made to run from pillar to post but to no avail. The authorities keep turning my request for a pass down for inexplicable reasons. This is frustrating and has seriously affected my business. Many FMCG products are perishable with short expiry period and therefore need to reach the retailer immediately. Truckloads of goods worth lakhs of rupees are lying in the godowns,� he said.
Aside loss to business, the situation is also causing revenue loss for the government at a time when it is facing a serious depletion of revenue sources.
During the initial days of the lockdown, retailers were hit by shortage of manpower and restrictions in transportation but now the lack of coordination among the government authorities has choked the supply line.
�A truncated workforce was a major factor hindering supply to the retail stores earlier. But now the authorities seem to be deliberately denying passes to those who need it urgently,� another trader rued.
Some traders are of the opinion that while the Central government�s intervention helped in movement of goods across borders, local authorities� insistence on their own set of guidelines was complicating matters.
�Local-specific unwise curbs like restrictions on time of opening and closing stores, unnecessary hindrances on business customers to visit the company�s stores for their stock fulfilment, etc., have caused stock replenishment to suffer. This has led to a conspicuous shortage of FMCG items and panic among citizens,� a trader said.
Many retailers in the city have complained that FMCG products such as branded biscuits, chocolates and salted snacks were not reaching them for a long time.
�Apparently, some lacunae are there in the supply chain and the administration needs to streamline it. But it is not doing this for reasons best known to it,� a retailer said.