Due to the lockdown in the country, shopkeepers are already facing demand and supply problems, the exodus of workers has added fuel to the fire, affecting the entire supply chain of essential commodities. Due to this, there has been a problem in the supply of flour and pulses and edible oil. Most grain markets are closed, oil and rice mills are running with minimal labor, and truck operators are facing difficulty in moving consumer products (FMCG) from one city to another. If the same situation persists after 21 days of lockdown, then the prices of many commodities may rise in the country.
Government measures are also ineffective
Despite the efforts of the central and state governments to ensure a fair supply of FMCG and other essential goods, the fear of the Corona epidemic is powering the workers and laborers working in the mills and factories, causing them to stay away from work.
80 percent pulses mills closed
“Coronavirus fear has affected production. About 80 percent of pulses mills are closed due to lack of raw materials and laborers. Although the government has now allowed trucks to run, the problem with transport still persists,” Suresh Agarwal, The All India Pulses Mills Association said, “Even the authorities have given permission to operate the truck drivers but police creates a lot of problems for the transport of goods especially at the boundaries of different states on the borders that are hindering the transport. Suresh Aggarwal says that if the laborer goes back to work, and the transport issues are resolved quickly, the situation may be controlled again.
“There was panic on the eve of the lockout on March 25. I somehow got stock of arhar and ata (flour) from a local businessman. But things are getting difficult now,” said the owner of Sanjay Stores in Vasantha area.
Problems in the procurement of wheat
Rajat Gupta, the owner of a flour mill, said, “My flour mill is open. I also managed some laborers. But the problem is that I am not able to purchase wheat.” According to him, once the flour mills start getting an adequate supply of wheat from the traders, the mills will work to their full potential. Bhanu, the owner of a grocery store in Greater Noida, said that he used to sell a 5 kg packet of Ashirwad dough for Rs 180, but now it is available for Rs 220. In fact the entire operation of the grain market, flour mills, rice mills including production and supply of FMCG remained affected due to transport and labor issues, including millers, distributors and industry bodies. “Stocks of biscuits, chocolate, milk powder and other items are available at the depot, but due to transportation disruptions, they are not being supplied,” Garg said.
There will be no problem in supply of edible oil
Atul Chaturvedi, president of the Solvent Extractors Association of India, said the supply chain for edible oils, sugar and other food items has started to be restored. He said, about 40-50 percent of the supply chain of edible oil, sugar and other food items has been restored.
Laxmichand Aggarwal, president of the Central Industry Organization (COOIT), said that the expeller producing mustard oil is operational and its supply will be uninterrupted. However, he admitted that mustard oil prices have risen due to the disruption in the supply of food products, but mustard oil is expected to rise further as the new crop season is coming up and farmers can grow their crops Selling directly to expeller.
Similarly, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) President Jeetu Bheda also hopes to revive the food supply chain soon. He said, “In fact, the laborers are back in their home which is a major hurdle in the restoration.