Salt shortage rumours run stores dry in Maharashtra

WHILE OFFICIALS have clarified that there is no shortage of salt which could lead to price rise, a spate of panic purchase by consumers across the city seems to have created an artificial shortage which may continue till Monday.

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Many grocery stores said on Saturday that they were left with no salt stock. “A large number of people came to buy salt from our store last night believing that there is going to be a hike in prices. We were out of stock by 10 pm. No new stock arrived today so we had to turn away some customers,” says Pravin from Jill Stores in Juhu. City stores recorded an increase in sale of salt in bulk quantities on Friday and Saturday.

Kamala, a domestic worker in Ghatkopar, was one of the panic buyers who bought 10 kilos of salt following the rumour. “People in our neighbourhood were saying that due to a shortage, salt prices will be hiked to Rs 400 to 500. It is a basic necessity and I will not be able to buy at such high prices, so to be on the safer side I bought 10 kilos,” she said.