Ahead of chief ministers’ meeting on price rise called by the Prime Minister on Friday, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Friday demanded that the Centre ban future trading of all food items and ensure higher allocation of foodgrains for BPL families.
“Future trading in all food articles should be immediately banned. Speculative capital in the futures market continued to play havoc with commodity prices,” Mr. Sarkar told reporters here on the sidelines of a party programme.
A three-day meeting of the CPI(M) central committee is in progress since Thursday with the issue of price rise and party’s campaign programmes against it on the agenda.
Stating that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should have convened the meeting with chief ministers much earlier, he said, “I wonder how this meeting on so many points on the subject could be possible to discuss in a day.”
Besides Mr. Sarkar, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee and his Kerala counterpart V.S. Achuthanandan would participate in the meeting on Saturday, party sources said.
Mr. Sarkar, a CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, said the government must release cereal stocks through the PDS by increasing the rice and wheat quotas for the states.
The Centre’s faulty approach was evident in the decision to release buffer stocks of foodgrains in the open market rather than to provide it to state governments at subsidized rates as a measure to restore the earlier cuts in allocations to APL sections, he alleged.