Taking strong exception to what he termed attempts by the government to hike the prices of essential commodities being sold through Supplyco outlets, CPI Legislature Party leader C. Divakaran has asked the government not to undo the work done by the LDF government to check rise in open market prices.

In a statement here on Monday, Mr. Divakaran pointed out that the LDF government had sold 13 essential articles at the same prices for its entire tenure. This, he said, had helped Supplyco to hold the price line in the open market. It could do so only because of the budgetary support provided by the government. Under the LDF government, the assistance provided to Supplyco had increased from Rs.30 crore to Rs.100 crore annually, he added.

Mr. Divakaran said that any attempt to link the prices of essential commodities sold through Supplyco with the open market prices would be disastrous and warned the government that if it did not desist from the move, the consequences would be serious. The move to increase the prices of essentials sold through Supplyco had come on top of the decision to reduce the quantity of kerosene sold through ration shops from two litres to one litre a week and increase power tariff. The people were unlikely to remain silent if the government persisted with such measures, he said.