Salt prices soar high on scarcity rumours
A pinch of salt suddenly acquired a big bite in parts of West Bengal, Bihar and Meghalaya, its prices sky-rocketing on rumours of scarcity. At least nine people have been arrested as authorities rubbished scarcity reports.
The rumours triggered panic buying with prices shooting up to as much as Rs.100 - Rs.150 per kg in West Bengal and Bihar, and zooming to a staggering Rs.300 for a kg in Meghalaya.
In parts of northern West Bengal, like Siliguri, Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri, people Thursday night rushed to markets to buy common salt, while traders overcharged the usually Rs.15-a-kg food ingredient at Rs.100-150 a kg.
In neighbouring Bihar, prices shot up to Rs.150 a kg in a day. Salt normally sells for Rs.8-Rs.16 per kg depending on its quality.
Nine people were arrested for alleged blackmarketing of salt from Darbhanga, Champaran’s Bettaih, Barauni in Begusarai and Danapur in Patna districts since Thursday night, an official said.
In Meghalaya, the situation was far worse as panic-stricken people Friday rushed to grocery stores and purchased salt at an unbelievable price of up to Rs.300 a kg.