Price Rise: PM Calls for Strong Action against Hoarders

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday observed that the country was facing a “difficult situation” following delayed and deficient rainfall. While iterating that adequate foodgrain stocks were available with the government he warned that the Centre would not hesitate from initiating strong measures and intervening in the market if the need arose.

Premier Singh’s observation came in the midst of a huge surge in food prices.

“Agricultural operations have been adversely affected in several parts of the country causing distress to farmers. A deficit of more than 6 million hectares has been reported in paddy, which is the worst affected crop,” he said addressing the Conference of Chief Secretaries on the monsoon situation in New Delhi.

While underlining that government stocks were adequate to cushion the impact of the weak monsoon, Singh urged for strong measures, including those against hoarders and black marketers, to check the spiral in essential commodity prices.

Later in the day, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, met the Prime Minister.

The significant meeting is believed to have focused on rising food prices and impact of the deficient rainfall on the farm sector output.

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