Government takes steps to check price rise

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, AUG. 21. The Government has taken steps to control the prices of essential commodities in the open market during the festival season.

The Food and Civil Supplies Minister, G. Karthikeyan, said here today that stringent action would be taken against those who tried to jack up prices by creating artificial shortage. He stated that a special cell had been set up under the Food Secretary to continuously monitor the prices in the open market. There would be machinery both at the State and the district levels to find out the source of price rise and take action. Necessary directions had been given to the district authorities.

Truck stir

The Minister said that there was no shortage of any item and that the truckers strike would not affect the State in any way. There was enough stock for two months in addition to the Onam requirement in the godowns of Supplyco. It also had its own trucks. Alternate arrangements had been made to bring vegetables from neighbouring States.

A crisis management group had been set up to monitor the situation and take action. Arrangements had been made to supply essential commodities, including rice without any quantity restriction from the permanent outlets and Onam fairs of Supplyco.

The prices were 40 per cent below that of the open market. Vegetables would be supplied from August 23. The price of banana was Rs. 14 per kg. Meanwhile, the Director of Health Services has warned against the adulteration and the sale of lower than the specified quality of food items.