Bihar CM defends black marketing by small traders

Manjhi says he will not punish them for hoarding

Patna : Stirring up a controversy, Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi has said that hoarding and black marketing of goods by small traders will not be treated as a crime and asked them not to worry about such activities, PTI reports.

“I am aware that small traders indulge in hoarding and black marketing of goods to make profit in order to sustain their families and educate their children,” he said on Tuesday at a function organised by Bihar State Foodgrain Businessmen’s Association.

“You please don’t worry about your activities as the state government will not punish you for hoarding and black marketing on small scale,” Manjhi said even as the Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh looked bemused at the Chief Minister’s utterances.

“If someone level allegations about you that you are indulging in black marketing, the amount would not exceed 1000, 2000 or 4000.  But those who do black marketing worth 4000 crores, what about them? the focus should go towards them,” the Bihar Chief Minister asked.

“If you are doing black marketing then that’s because for seeing your children get education and earn a meal. I don’t think your children’s get their education from abroad ….but there are few who are sending their children to private schools and if you are doing this kind of corruption then I thank you for this as chief minister of the state and I will forgive these small mistakes,” he said.

Virtually defending hoarding and black marketing by petty traders, the CM said that he did not mind such activities as the traders were doing it for a noble cause – to sustain their families and educate their children.

Continuing in the same vein, he said that hoarding and black marketing by the small traders have had no impact on demand and supply of goods in market as the quantity of goods being hoarded by

the traders was insignificant in volume.

The CM’s off-the-cuff remarks came at the time when the Centre has asked the state governments to crack down on hoarders and black marketeers to rein in price rise and inflation in the country. Manjhi has been in the news for many of his controversial remarks, which have embarrassed his party – JD(U) and his predecessor Nitish Kumar, who had handpicked him as his successor soon after the ruling party fared miserably in the general elections held this year.

He also said that his government was with the Centre in getting the black money from abroad  and asked for action against those big fish who are involved in corruption.

“We would like to request the government of India to bring back the black money stashed abroad and we would like to extend our support in their initiative. Now that they have completed 100 days they should bring that money back and invest the money,” he added.

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