GUWAHATI, April 2 - With concerns rising about the availability of essential commodities during the 21-day nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, many grocery shop owners of the city claimed that essential items like flour, rice and cooking oil are out of stock despite the government�s claim that supply chain is being smoothly maintained across the State.
The owner of the MJ Bhandar of Bhetapara Chariali area, Ancher Hussain said, �No supply of grocery items has come to our store since the lockdown was first announced. The distributors are saying that they do not have any vehicle passes to supply the items. This is why the supply is disrupted. Flour, biscuits and cooking oil are out of stock in my store. There is also a shortage of detergent powder�.
�The police had also seized my vehicle when I went to Fancy Bazar for some grocery items. I urge the district administration to provide passes to the grocery owners so that the supply chain can be run smoothly,� he added.
Moreover, Hussain without mentioning the name of the wholesaler from Fancy Bazar, said that the wholesalers have hiked prices of flour and rice by Rs 800 to 1000 per quintal. The wholesalers did not even bother to issue proper bills having seal and signature, he alleged.
Convenience stores like Easy Day in different parts of the city also reported various items going out of stock.
Many flour mills, biscuit factories and other such production houses have not yet resumed operations. Unavailability of essential items in the market has triggered a rise in the prices.
Moreover, each plate of eggs now costs Rs 200.
Grocery shop owner of Silpukhuri Hira Das also said, �There is a shortage of items like biscuits, mustard oil and flour in my shop. Prices of every item have been increased by Rs 2 to 4.�