Govt moves to rein in ris­ing food prices

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Suchetana Ray suchetana.ray@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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

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