इंडियन आवाज़     30 Nov 2023 03:30:34      انڈین آواز

Centre, states agree on action plan to contain price rise

Our Correspondent

Pulses-Expressing concern over steep price rise in pulses and other commodities, Centre and State Food Ministers today agreed on an action plan to maintain availability of essential commodities that are Pulses, edible oils, rice, onions, tomatoes and potatoes at reasonable prices during the six-month period between July – December 2015. The Centre also asked state governments to take stringent action against hoarders and boost supply in vulnerable areas prone to shortages. The states have been told to engage civil supplies corporations and cooperatives for distribution of key commodities, besides augmenting storage capacity. Addressing a meeting of state Food ministers in New Delhi, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said Centre will not allow unreasonable increase in prices. He said there is no need to worry as there is adequate food grain stock to meet domestic demand.

Mr Paswan said while the Centre has recently taken several measures to check price rise in pulses and onion, the state governments should come out with state-level action plans to combat the issue. He said, according to action plan sustained action will be initiated against hoarding and black-marketing and States will undertake effective enforcement of the Essential Commodities Act and Prevention of Black Marketing Act. He said, states will identify vulnerable areas where supply shortages occur and ensure that stock-out situations do not occur especially of items of common consumption. Mr Paswan said, states will mobilize existing storage capacity utilizing the government, private, cooperative storage infrastructure to ensure that adequate decentralized stocks are maintained across different cities and rural areas of the State to ensure adequate supplies of these commodities.

The Minister said, states will also mobilise Food and Civil Supplies Corporations, cooperative Societies and Fair Price Shops for augmenting distribution avenues for essential food items. He said the existing Price Monitoring Cells in the States will be strengthened to monitor the prices of these specific commodities on the basis of wholesale prices at the mandis as well as the retail prices obtaining in various parts of the State. This should enable the States to make market interventions on a real time basis. He said, APMC Act will be reviewed with reference to Onions, Potatoes and Tomatoes to remove inter- state barriers.

To boost domestic supply, the government has issued tender for import of 5,000 tonnes of tur dal and is considering import of 5,000 tonnes of urad dal. It has also put in place a ban on export of pulses except for kabuli chana and has imposed stock limits on traders for holding of pulses stock beyond a prescribed ceiling. Mr Paswan noted that 12 states have already implemented National Food Security Act. He said, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Lakshadweep will implement the Act by September this year. The Minister urged the rest of the states to adhere to the time line of 30th September 2015.

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