A conference of Ministers of Consumer Affairs of States and Union Territories on issue of increase in food prices was held at Vigyan Bhawan New Delhi today. The conference was convened by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to deliberate on the means to check price rise and also to take stock of issues related to Public Distribution System (PDS). Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh also participated in conference.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.S. Bali addressing the conference apprised the Union Ministers about the various steps being taken by the State Government in this direction. He said that State Government was concerned about rising prices of essential commodities and stringent measures were being taken to check the same.
Bali said in order to put a check on price escalation, laws were being enforced strictly and 32,000 inspections were conducted on commercial establishments last year. He said that PDS was being implemented effectively in Himachal Pradesh and urged the Centre to restore the subsidy on pulses on previous pattern.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister urged the Centre Government to provide more subsidies on sugar keeping in view the rising prices of it. He also brought out the fact that Kerosene allotment to the state was 65% less than its entitlement. He pointed out that severe climatic condition of the state make kerosene an essential fuel therefore its supply should be increased.
Bali said that State Government would provide appropriate land to Food Corporation of India (FCI) for construction of food storage godowns on priority so that storage capacity of foodgrains could be increased.
Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies K. Sanjay Murthy also attended the meeting.