ANDHRA PRADESH

YSR orders raids to rein in prices

Special Correspondent

Vigilance officials asked to seize hoarded commodities, divert them to market

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has directed the Vigilance and Civil Supplies officials to continue operations for seizure of hoarded essential commodities across the State and divert them to the open market.

Reviewing the situation from New Delhi on Saturday, he said raids were revealing huge quantities of hoarded stocks and hence they must be continued relentlessly.

Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Commodities Dealers (Licensing and Distribution) order should be implemented to bring down the prices.

So far 774 raids had led to seizure of 74350 quintals of pulses worth Rs.16.42 crores.

In Kurnool and Anantapur, the Vigilance and Enforcement wing had unearthed pulses, tamarind, turmeric and oil worth more than Rs.252 crore in the last three months.

Dr. Reddy appealed to the Centre to extend the provision of licensing requirements for stocking pulses and wheat beyond its current deadline of February 28.

The Centre had imposed licensing requirements for the commodities through an order on August 29, 2006.

He asked officials to closely monitor the price situation.

The Chief Minister meanwhile thanked the Union Government for reducing the prices of petroleum and diesel and for taking a decision to import skimmed milk powder at zero duty to enhance supplies.

A press release from the Chief Minister's Office said that Andhra Pradesh Markfed had supplied 6,627.40 quintals of onions procured from Maharashtra to Rythu Bazars for sale at Rs.7 per kg.

Two varieties of red gram priced at Rs.30 per kg and Rs.26 per kg were also being sold.

Deseeded tamarind was being sold at Rs.30 per kg and palmolein at Rs.44.50 in the bazars.