India will come down heavily on hoarders: Kamal Nath

April 4th, 2008 - 3:31 pm ICT by admin  

Singapore, April 4 (IANS) India will come down heavily on traders hoarding essential commodities and earning profits in the backdrop of soaring inflation, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said here Friday. “We will not hesitate to take the strongest possible measures, including using some of the legal provisions that we have against hoarding, against profiteering, whether it’s in food, in cement, in steel,” Nath told reporters here.

This remark from the minister comes after India’s annual rate of inflation shot up to a three-year high of seven percent for the week ended March 22, from 6.68 percent for the week before, due to higher prices of essential items such as vegetables.

“We have great supply side challenges in India at the moment with 15 million people moving from having one meal a day to two meals a day,” he said.

Nath said the “frenzy of economic slowdown” was bound to impact the global economy and India would join hands with other countries to keep food prices in check.

The minister is currently representing India here at the IncredibleIndia@60 event projecting the country as one of the world’s most vibrant economies.

Nath complimented Singapore for embracing global connectivity as an economic model and added that India also needs to leverage the forces of globalisation so that its growth can extend to all sections of the society.

On Monday, the government took steps such as banning export of non-basmati rice and pulses, scrapping import duties on non-refined edible oil and cutting import duties on refined oil, butter, ghee and maize to check rising prices.

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