Govt moves to rein in rising food prices
NEW DELHI: The government announced on Wednesday a raft of measures to rein in food prices, including selling subsidised pulses from mobile vans, stepping up imports and limiting stockholding by big retailers.
Soaring food prices, especially of pulses, veggies and dairy products, have fed wider inflation, driven up mainly by shrinking supplies after two years of back-to-back droughts in top farm states.
Although the meteorological department has predicted bountiful rains this year, rising prices can turn into a political worry for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government going into a string of crucial state elections over the next few months.
Wednesday’s decisions came after a meeting of finance minister Arun Jaitley and his colleagues from the food, farm and parliamentary affairs ministries.
“Our department was told to procure more pulses for buffer stock,” food minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters.
“State governments have been urged to take the pulses from the buffer stock and sell them at not more than Rs120 per kg to ensure availability of pulses at reasonable prices,” he said. CONTINUED ON P10