In view of the recent hike in prices of essential commodities, the government on Monday said there is a need to have a relook at futures trading, including in food items.
“Future trade in all items, including food items, is one matter that needs to be discussed in-depth. We need to consult with the State governments as well,” Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas said in Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.
He, however, said though there were demands for banning the futures trading, in reality, even after suspension of trading on a couple of commodities, spot prices continued to go up.
“We have to think in all seriousness about the role of futures trade,” Mr. Thomas said, adding there was need to make changes in the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act to keep prices of essential commodities under check.
Attributing the recent hike in prices of vegetables and essential commodities to demand-supply mismatch, increased input costs and changing dietary patterns, he said various steps were taken to contain the prices.
He said in order to contain the prices of essential commodities, import duties on rice, wheat, onion, pulses and edible oils have been brought to nil and for refined oils and vegetable oils, it has been brought down to 7.5 per cent.
The government has also extended the limit for duty-free import of white and raw sugar till June 30 and banned export of edible oils and pulses.