Claiming that rumour on salt going out of stock was created by a racket with vested interest, the state food and supplies minister Jyotipriyo Mallick said: “There is a stock of salt in the state for the next two years and another huge quantity of salt would come to the state in the next one week.”
It may be mentioned that the rumour of salt going out of stock had gripped some parts of the state and people were left in utter confusion.
Many were found going to the nearest market to buy salt on an immediate basis. It even led to quarrel as some gave Rs 2,000 notes to buy 5 kg salt that cost around Rs 100.
Shopkeepers refused to give change of Rs 2,000 note and it led to more trouble.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that this is a rumour. Mallick said that the rumour has been spread by a racket for their vested interest and told people not to give any importance to it.
He said: “At present, there is a stock of around 2.3 lakh metric tonne of salt available in the market and as per the need of the residence of the people, the stock would last for another 2 years.
“Despite of being sure and confident, a team comprised of senior officials of the department would be visiting the warehouses to take a stock of the present situation.”
Mallick said that in the next seven to eight days, another 84 wagons of salt would come to the city from Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Each wagon contains 5,000 metric tonnes of salt. “Thus there is no question of salt going out of stock,” he said.
The rumour of salt going out of stock came at the time when people are already harassed due to demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes which left the common people in a confused state without knowing whether to stock some quantity of salt.
However, they had stopped thinking that they were left with only a small amount of money in smaller denominations.
Mahesh Sharma, a salt whole seller, said that shop keepers were confused. “Some had even contacted me over the phone to know that at what rate they should sell the salt.
I understood that they were planning to sell it at a premium, considering that there was a shortage in the supply of salt. But I told them that it was nothing but a rumour and there is enough quantity of salt in stock. Thus there is no question of hiking its price.”