Jharkhand traders protest new Essential Commodities act

May 28th, 2008 - 7:13 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, May 28 (IANS) Jharkhand traders shut their shops Wednesday to protest against the provisions of the Essential Commodities (EC) Act and worsening law and order situation in the state. Nearly 5,000 traders from various districts of the state gathered in Jaipal Singh stadium of Ranchi and took out a protest march. The traders are unhappy with some provision of the EC act and worsening law and order situation.

The traders’ shut down affected life in the state. As the chemists’ association had also supported the strike, medicine shops were closed too.

“Traders are finding it difficult to continue their business in the state. The provisions of EC act are against interest of the traders. We have no option but to shut our shops,” said Manoj Naredi, president of the Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI).

Under the EC act, the state government has made provision of limiting stocks of food grains to control prices. As per the provisions, a trader cannot keep over 250 quintals of wheat and rice at one time.

Trader are also unhappy with the law and order situation.

In the last one week, Jharkhand has witnessed a surge in its crime graph. On May 21, suspected Maoist rebels looted Rs.50 million and one kg gold from a delivery van of the ICICI Bank on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur national highway.

On Monday, Rs.1.8 million were looted from an employee of a petrol pump in Ranchi. In Simdega on the same day, criminals looted Rs.380,000 from the Bank of India. The police, however, recovered the money.

On May 22, a businessman’s son was abducted in Latehar district and a ransom of Rs.5 million demanded.

“Traders are feeling scared as every week some unsavoury incident takes place in the state. The state government should wake up and ensure safety to the businessmen of the state,” Suresh Malhotra, president of the Ranchi main road shop association.

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