Food prices: State to sell onions, crack down on hoardersJanuary 13th, 2011 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Worried over the frequent “unacceptable” rise in food prices, the government Thursday unveiled a slew of anti-inflation steps, including sale of onions through government agencies, utilising state-run companies to source food items and stringent action against hoarders.”Prices of most manufactured goods and services have been reasonably stable, food prices have frequently risen at unacceptable rates,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
“The current bout of inflation is driven by a rise in prices of vegetables and fruits which is more difficult to manage because these commodities are not held in public stocks,” it added.
The government has been on the backfoot after opposition parties raked up the issue of price rise in rallies across the country. India’s food inflation has soared to over 18 percent, led by onions which are selling in most parts of the country at Rs.55-60 per kg.
Among some of the measures that the PMO suggested Thursday are sale of Rs.35 per kg by state-run National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and the apex federation of consumer cooperatives, NCCF, through their retail outlets.
“The arrival of onions from Pakistan will also help cool prices. Import of 1,000 tonnes of onion has already been contracted. Export of onions stands banned,” said the PMO.
The government will also review import and export of all essential commodities to ensure supplies in the domestic market.
It also warned of severe action against black marketers and hoarders of food items.
“Cartelisation by large traders will be strictly dealt with. Government will take stringent action against hoarders and black marketers manipulating market prices,” said the statement.
Some of the other actions laid out by the PMO are:
– State units to intensify purchases of essential commodities, particularly edible oils and pulses, for distribution through their retail network
– Existing schemes for subsidized distribution of edible oils and pulses to be continued
– Exports of edible oils and pulses, as well as non-basmati rice to remain banned,
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Tags: backfoot, consumer cooperatives, cooperative marketing, country india, edible oils, food items, food prices, import and export, marketing federation, nafed, onions, opposition parties, pmo, public stocks, pulses, retail network, retail outlets, source food, stringent action, vegetables and fruits