Millennium Post

Centre steps in to check food inflation

Centre steps in to check food inflation
Facing criticism over the unprecedented price rise, Centre has convened a meeting of state food ministers in New Delhi on Friday to discuss measures to check unreasonable increase in prices of essential commodities including vegetables like onion and potato. According to an official statement, the government has taken a serious note of recent hike in prices and has decided to take strong action against it, jointly with state governments.

‘There are enough stocks of foodgrains and other essential commodities in the country. The price rise is result of hoarding,’ said minister of consumer affairs, food & public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan. According to the statement, the meeting will be chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley and would deliberate on steps to prevent hoarding of kitchen staples and plans for distribution of specific essential items through public channels. It will also review the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act for creating a national common market for food items with no barriers to internal trade. Issues pertaining to maintenance of stock and supply of onion and potato as well as improving post harvest infrastructure will also be taken up in the meeting. The Centre has asked state governments to take urgent measures to tackle undue increase in onion prices.

Meanwhile, the union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday said that the worst impact of a sub-normal monsoon is likely to be in western India, with possible drought-like conditions in some areas. ‘Monsoon is delayed. Western India is expected to be worst affected and drought-like situation might prevail in some pockets,’ Singh told reporters after a delegation from Maharashtra met him on this matter. A separate contingency plan will be worked out along with the state governments for drought-prone regions, such as Vidharbha in Maharashtra, to ensure there is no shortage of drinking water and fodder, he said. ‘Vidharbha region is drought-prone. We will think of all possible measures to help farmers so that they are not forced to commit suicides due to crop failure,’ he added.
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