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Centre takes a serious view of sudden increase in prices

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Published on 17 Jun 2016 10:39 AM GMT

Centre takes a serious view of sudden increase in prices
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New Delhi: Taking a serious note of the sudden rise in retail prices of some commodities this month, the Centre has decided to go deep into the issue and find out if it is a handiwork of some hoarders and profiteers. It may take the help of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Intelligence Bureau in this regard.

The two agencies which are normally kept out of these developments may be involved because the government suspects that prices of these commodities cannot rise so steeply without some “hanky- hanky”. In other words, it believes that shortages are artificial and have been created by some unscrupulous traders.

A meeting was held by the department of food and civil supplies on Thursday to discuss the price rise issue . The meeting, attended by some top officials, was of the view that services of these agencies should be also taken if a lasting solution has to be found.

The secretary of the department is scheduled to speak to heads of food and civil supplies departments in different states through Video-conferencing on June 30 and seek their suggestions. Some tough measures are expected to be taken after the discussion.

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What is unnerving is the increase in prices of gram pulses. Production of 'Chana dal' was adequate during the last Rabi season. Still, its price in the retail market , has gone up sharply. In Lucknow market, for instance, it is selling at Rs 110 a kilo this week . It was available at Rs 85 per kilo a week back

Similarly, Urad dal has marked an abnormal rise. The story is almost the same in case of other pulses. However, what has hit the family budget most is the simultaneous rise in prices of of tomato and potato. Tomato price has gone up to Rs 55 a kilo, marking over 100 per cent rise.

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For the rise in price of pulses some analysts blame the government itself. It was aware of lower production of pulses last year due to adverse weather conditions in some parts. Still ,sufficient buffer stock was not created. Import, which was delayed, worsened the situation further. A big gag between the supply and demand was left unplugged.

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