Raipur: Blaming hoarders for soaring food prices, Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said here today that the Centre will not tolerate such practices and unreasonable prices will be checked at the earliest.
He said that strategies would be chalked out to check hoarding and black marketing during a meeting of food ministers of various states in Delhi on July 4. “After news that agricultural production would be affected because of poor rains, hoarders and profiteers are willingly hiding their stocks of essential commodities,” Paswan told reporters here today evening.
“There is no shortage of onion and sugar in the country. We have huge stocks of wheat and rice for a year. The Central government will not tolerate hoarding,” he said. After the conference of state food ministers on July 4 in Delhi, serious measures would be taken to check hoarding and control inflation, he said.
Meanwhile, he informed that state governments which have not implemented the Food Security Act would be given three months to introduce it in their respective regions. The deadline for implementing the National Food Security Act is July, but the government has extended the deadline by three months, Paswan said.
Earlier, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had demanded approval of funds to construct warehouses of at least 15 lakh metric tonne capacity, to ensure safe storage of paddy in the state, during a meeting with Paswan. Singh also sought that Centre should not make any amendments in the decentralised paddy procurement scheme or in the support price, without taking consent of the states, an official statement said.
He also demanded approval to open more FCI procurement centres in the state and recruit sufficient number of technical staff to expedite the procurement process, it said. Paswan expressed theoretical consent to all issues raised by him and said that he would convey the demands to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the statement said.