Punjab demands more powers under EC Act to check hoarding and inflation
Author(s): City Air NewsChandigarh/New Delhi, July 4, 2014: “The states must be empowered under ‘Essential Commodities Act’ to check the ever-rising inflation, control the prices of essential food items and hoarding.” This case was strongly...
Chandigarh/New Delhi, July 4, 2014: “The states must be empowered under ‘Essential Commodities Act’ to check the ever-rising inflation, control the prices of essential food items and hoarding.” This case was strongly put up by Adaish Partap Singh Kairon, Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Punjab, while taking part in the deliberations at the Food Ministers’ Meet on ‘Increase in Food Prices’ at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today.
In his address, Kairon made a vociferate appeal to the Government of India to empower state governments for the effective implementation of Essential Commodities Act. He said that by empowering the state in this direction the hoarding/blackmailing could be checked effectively.
Kairon also appealed to the Government of India to increase the quota of levy sugar to the state from the present 1500 MT to 7500 MT per month as the families to whom the subsidize sugar was being distributed has increased manifold. He said that earlier the subsidized sugar was provided only to the BPL families, but now more families have been covered under National Food Security Act.
Kairon assured the union government that despite the probability of deficit monsoon rainfall, the state would match up the supply of paddy/wheat grains to the national kitty to the previous year. He said that the state government would have to exert more efforts and resources in the form of diesel and electricity consumption to produce more yield in adverse climate condition. He said that in this backdrop, the union government must compensate the Punjab Government by sanctioning the financial help of Rs.2200 crore.
Speaking about the plight of storage capacity of food grains in the state, Kairon said that against the sanctioned construction of 50 lacs tonnes storage capacity, the Punjab has already constructed 45 lacs tonnes storage capacity, which was far short than what was desired. He said that this storage capacity could be extended up to the level 80 lacs tonnes, which is badly needed. He said that the in the dearth of sufficient storage capacity, the hard earned food grains got spoiled, so he demanded that more warehouse blocks should be constructed in the state. He also requested the Union Government to ensure that Food Corporation of India (FCI) must act swiftly during the procurement seasons of food grains, so that the hard earned food grains could not get spoiled in open in the procurement centres.
The Food Minister demanded that an appellant apex laboratory must be designated by Government of India so that the miller could get second opinion before this apex laboratory in case their food grains were rejected by the FCI.
Kairon said that at present, the Punjab state has milling capacity of 25 lacs MT processed rice per month to the FCI through its rice mills. He said that despite this fact the FCI receive only 10 lacs MT rice per month. He urged the union government to increase the receiving capacity of FCI to 25 lacs MT per month.
Besides Kairon, D.S. Grewal, Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, Punjab was also present in this meet.