Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan has emphasised the need of coordinated action by the Central Government and the States to contain price increase of essential food items. He said that tackling food inflation is important because, if left unchecked it can easily distort the various initiatives already taken for revival of the economy and improvement in distributive justice. The Government is therefore determined to meet this challenge in collaboration with the State Governments.
Addressing the meeting of Ministers of Consumer Affairs and Food of States and Union Territories in New Delhi, Paswan said that the Centre would evolve a joint strategy with the States for this purpose and will extend its implementation upto the district level.
While noting that the prices of perishable commodities do increase between July and November every year, Paswan pointed out that the Central Government has already taken various measures to contain food inflation. He highlighted the responsibility of State Governments in ensuring availability of Essential Commodities to the people at fair and reasonable prices. He mentioned that this period also coincides with the festive season across the country and demand for essential food items reaches its peak, hence it is necessary to take steps to prevent hoarding and black marketing as well as to strengthen the supply and distribution channels of essential commodities during this period.
Addressing the meeting, Union Agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh said that the Government has taken important initiatives to ensure availability of pulses and oilseeds. Support price for the pulses has been increased and bonus is also being given. He assured that there will be no shortage of foodgrains in the country.
The meeting was attended by ministers and secretaries in-charge of Food and Consumer Affairs from most of the States and UTs and senior officials of various central ministries. Some of the States made very significant suggestions in improving the situation of short supply of food items.