It is not understandable why some of the traders and shopkeepers are opposed to the legislation which the government is trying to introduce in the country to rein in the hoarders of consumer goods. There is no gainsaying the fact that some of the traders hoard items of daily use in order to create their artificial scarcity and then scoop fat monetary gains by selling them at exorbitant price thus fleecing the common man and the salaried class.
Hoarding ,black-marketing and smuggling of essential goods is as serious a crime as murder of a person for which the penalty prescribed under the law is death. Unfortunately, in this country, kid-glove treatment was always meted out to the persons involved in these crimes. If on the one hand, the law on the subject lacks bite, on the other, the lawyers manage to indulge in a lot of legal nitpicking and, more often than not ,the persons accused of these offences don’t get their just deserts and get off lightly.
There ,is, therefore, a dire need to enact such a law not only in the federal capital alone but in the entire country which has enough bite to deter the traders from indulging in hoarding. The Ordinance in this connection passed for the federal capital in its present form is quite weak and is not going to achieve the desired results unless minimum sentence of ten years rigorous jail term is prescribed for the offenders under it with a fine of Rs 10 lakh and confiscation to the state the entire hoarded material.