Centre to discuss food inflation with state governments today

04 July 2014

The centre has called a meeting of state food ministers today to discuss all possible ways to effectively rein in prices in the backdrop of poor monsoon this year.

The government has taken a serious note of recent rise in prices at a time when there are enough stocks of foodgrains and other essential commodities in the country.

The day-long conference will be chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitely and presided over by both food minister Ram Vilas Paswan and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh.

The meeting will take stock of the impact of recent measures taken to improve domestic supply of onion and potato and other food items, and will also discuss hurdles being faced by the state governments in reining in prices.

Specifically, the meeting will discuss steps to prevent hoarding of commodities and plans for distribution of essential items through public channels and improving other supply channels.

The meeting will also review the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act for creating a national common market for food items with no barriers to internal trade.

Issues pertaining to maintenance of stock and supply of onion and potato as well as improving post harvest infrastructure, value addition and containing wastage will also be taken up in the meeting to ensure availability of these commodities.

Despite recent government measures, prices of some food items, especially onion and potato, have been rising even as their production is sufficient.

The conference will take update on monsoon situation in respective states and deliberate on steps to be taken to minimise the impact of deficit rains on crops and livestock.

That apart, the meeting will address problems being faced by some states to implement the food security Act that gives two-thirds of the country's population the right to subsidised foodgrains.

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