Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today threw the ball in the court of state governments over the issue of price rise, saying it would be “difficult” to face such a situation unless there was cooperation from them.

“I appeal to all state governments they should take the issue of price rise very seriously to protect the interest of consumers otherwise it will be difficult,” he said while addressing the national convention of his party NCP.

Mr. Pawar in his presidential address also assured that the Central government would assist the states in controlling prices in whatever ways possible.

“Although soaring prices is a global phenomenon, the government is making determined efforts to contain the prices of food grains and essential commodities,” he said admitting that “unprecedented rise in prices of essential commodities have created a serious difficulty for people“.

He said that while Government of India was taking substantial burden of subsidy, some states are coming forward to provide cereals and pulses at affordable rates.

Mr. Pawar, who devoted major part of his speech to the farm sector, said as the UPA government began its second tenure, it has faced a “grave problem of drought” due to monsoon failure in which 312 districts in 12 states have been affected.

He said the government has made all possible efforts and brought down the inflation on single digit in spite of global recession.

Also the Food Minister, Mr. Pawar said that in spite of errant monsoon and vagaries of nature, farmers in the country have made a record production of 234 million of tonnes of food grains last year.

“We have been able to withstand the global recession and the economic meltdown because of the Indian farmers.”

In a resolution on economic affairs, the party said “some of the reasons for rising prices can be attributed to this year’s climatic conditions” but added “we are confident that the policies of the government will ensure that rise in certain essential food commodities will definitely be brought under control. It said the issue “warrants more intervention by the state government in the market.”

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