The prime minister has asked the states to "take strong action against hoarders and black marketers," and said the centre would ensure that there is enough stock of foodgrains in the country.
"Of late, we have seen a rising trend in the prices of certain essential commodities like pulses, sugar and some vegetables. In order to contain increase in prices of essential commodities, the centre and the state governments will have to work together and activise the public distribution system,' the prime minister said.
"We will also have to ensure effective enforcement of stockholding limits and strong action against hoarders and black marketers," he added.
"We should not hesitate to take strong measures and intervene in the market if the need were to arise," he told a meeting of states chief secretaries in New Delhi today.
He said that the situation arising out of the delayed monsoon in the country should not be allowed to turn into a calamity and this must be avoided at all costs.
"Today the country is facing a difficult situation. The monsoon has been delayed and in many places it has been deficient, though some parts of the country have received normal or excess rainfall. Agricultural operations have been adversely affected in several parts of the country causing distress to farmers and their families. A deficit of more than 6 million hectares has been reported in paddy, which is the worst affected crop," the PM said.