Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that his government will take all possible measures to control the price line of essential commodities.
He was speaking here on Sunday during the State-level launch of 25 Triveni mobile stores and a scheme in which 100 Neethi medical stores will be opened by the Consumerfed in various parts of the State within six months.
Noting that price rise is one of the biggest problems being faced by the common man now, Mr. Chandy said the present rice shortage was artificially induced by private establishments. Stringent action will be taken against such attempts.
According to him, a section of traders have been resorting to various methods, including hiking the price of various varieties of rice that are in demand. However, the government has adopted necessary counter-measures. As part of such efforts, earnest measures are being made to make available, through the Consumerfed and the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation, sufficient quantity of the Jaya variety of rice which is in great demand in the State.
He said the government would actively intervene in the market in order to bring down the price of commodities.
With a view to increasing the availability of rice in the State, necessary measures are being made to ensure that the one lakh tonnes of rice that was sanctioned by the Centre on Saturday is collected and distributed in the State at the earliest.
Besides, fairs are being conducted by the Cooperative Department during festive seasons with a view to providing good quality items at rates cheaper than in the market.
Presiding over the function, Cooperation Minister C.N. Balakrishnan said the Consumerfed was organising nearly 4,000 Christmas fairs in various parts of the State. In addition, 280 vegetables markets are being arranged. Despite the financial constraints being faced by the Consumerfed, the ongoing efforts in market intervention will continue.
Finance Minister K.M. Mani flagged off the mobile stores and handed over the keys of the vehicles to N. Jayaraj, MLA. Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan inaugurated a Triveni super market and Neethi medical store at Kanjikkuzhy, near here.
Anto Antony, MP, Kottayam municipal chairman M.P. Santhosh Kumar, Consumerfed president Joy Thomas, vice-president N. Sudarshanan, managing director Rigi G. Nair, executive director Kurian Joy, chief manager R. Jayakumar, Kerala Lalithakala Akademi chairman K.A. Francis, and district cooperative joint registrar (general) K.A. Rosamma, also participated in the inaugural function.