Centre has asked states and Union Territories to undertake publicity and awareness activity and sensitize the public at large to address their concerns to mitigate panic buying of essential supplies. They have also been asked to set up a helpline for consumers to enable them to register for redressal by the public authorities on issues of maintaining essential supplies. In a letter to principal Secretaries of all the States and UTs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution directed to constitute joint teams of food and civil supplies, legal metrology, food safety, health and police for effective surveillance and enforcement activities to avoid a situation of demand supply mismatch, hoarding and exorbitant pricing of essential supplies.
The states have also been asked to keep operations of grocery stores, pharmacists and grocery warehouses outside the restrictions to ensure smooth supply in the wake of the prevailing COVID19 situation. They have been told to ensure that prices of all essential supplies are not increased and are available at fair prices unless necessitated by cost enhancement due to raw material costs.