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Updated: December 21, 2009 00:35 IST

States should take price rise seriously, says Pawar

K. V. Prasad
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Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar addresses his party's national convention in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTI
PTI Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar addresses his party's national convention in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTI

Though soaring prices were a global phenomenon, the Centre would assist the States in all possible manner in controlling prices. It was making determined efforts to contain the prices of foodgrains and essential commodities, Sharad Pawar said.

Unless the States take price rise seriously and protect the interests of consumers, the situation will become difficult, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar cautioned on Sunday.

Though soaring prices were a global phenomenon, the Centre would assist the States in all possible manner in controlling prices. It was making determined efforts to contain the prices of foodgrains and essential commodities, he said.

Mr. Pawar admitted that the unprecedented rise in the prices of essential commodities created serious difficulties for the people. While the Centre was taking a substantial burden of subsidy, some States too were coming forward to provide cereals and pulses to the people at affordable rates.

He was presiding over a national convention of the Nationalist Congress Party here. A major portion of his speech was devoted to problems in the agriculture sector. He said the second term of the UPA government began with the problem of drought that affected over 300 districts across 12 States.

Mr. Pawar said the government made efforts to bring down the inflation rate to the single digit at a time the world economy was hit by recession.

The agriculture sector in India withstood the impact of inadequate rains, and farmers produced a record 234 million tonnes of foodgrains last year.

Nitish blames it on UPA

PTI reports from Patna:

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar disagreed with Mr. Pawar’s suggestion that States do more to rein in the prices. He blamed the UPA government’s “faulty policies” for the crisis.

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