Rising prices | Mamata seeks PM’s intervention

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the Central government to step in to control hoarding, increase supply and bring down the rising prices of essential commodities. Ms. Banerjee also sought that the powers of the State governments be restored “for exercising control over the production, supply, distribution and sale of agricultural commodities”.

The recent enactments relating to farmers and essential commodities are “seriously encouraging hoarding and profiteering in essential items like potato and onion in West Bengal”, she said.

“It may be mentioned that as per the amendments in the Essential Commodities Act, the cereals, pulses oilseeds, edible oils, onions and potato are removed from the list of essential commodities. The amendments are seriously encouraging hoarding and profiteering,” the communication said.

In the four-page letter, Ms. Banerjee said the State government now devoid of all powers cannot be expected to remain a silent spectator to the suffering of the common people.

She said she had raised “serious concerns that these enactments were hurriedly made without adequate thought process or discussion and consultation with the States”. “The adverse impact of these new Central Acts upon the farmers and consumers in terms of availability and prices of essential agricultural commodities is already visible now, as they are against the interest of the farmers and the consumers.”

The Chief Minister was referring to the three legislations that recently were passed by Parliament.

The political parties in the Opposition particularly the Left and the Congress said the rise of prices of potato and onions is more to do with the State government’s failure to control hoarding.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 9:32:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/rising-prices-mamata-seeks-pms-intervention/article33061242.ece

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