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Essential goods worth over Rs 71.64 cr confiscated in 2011

Essential goods worth over Rs 71.64 crore were confiscated in raids across the country in 2011.

In 1,80,785 raids conducted in various parts of the country in 2011 for violation of rules under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, a total of 4,498 persons were arrested, Food Minister K V Thomas said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Quoting from reports by state governments/UT Administrations, the minister said 4,486 persons were prosecuted, of which 30 were convicted.

The minister added the prices of groundnut oil has been increasing during the last one year, but denied it was due to hoarding and black marketing.

Wholesale prices of groundnut oil in the domestic market as on May 2, 2012, have increased by 50 per cent during the last one year, he said.

This is due to decline in production of groundnut (in shell) which is lower by 13.16 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 compared to 2010-11 and increase in international prices of edible oils which also affects the domestic prices as about 50 per cent of domestic demand is met through imports, he added.

Thomas said in order to check price rise, including hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities like groundnut oil, the government has initiated various steps.

These included series of meeting with Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of states asking them to take effective action for undertaking de-hoarding operations under Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
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