New Delhi, Jan 27 (UNI) The Communist Party of India (Marxist), main ally of the UPA Government, today urged the government to ban all the 14 essential commodities from future trading to control the prices, besides increasing the number of institutional banks in the rural areas for the upliftment of farming communities.
''All the 14 essential commodities should be banned from the future trading, as it promotes speculative trading as a result prices of essential agri products shoot up,'' CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.
Wheat, rice, tur and urad dal futures were banned in the commodities market in the wake of high essential commodity prices from the end of 2006.
Earlier this week, Agriculture, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Sharad Pawar had advocated for removing the ban on futures trading in wheat and rice.
Releasing the Assocham Study on ''Agricultural Scenario: Agenda for Farmers Prosperity,'' the CPI(M) leader said the situation is very alarming as the number of farmers committing suicide is growing growing day by day.
Mr Yechuri said in order to achieve food security, the government should increase the number of Institutional Gramin Banks, Public Distribution System (PDS), increase Minimum Support Prices (MSPs), substantially hike public investment into agriculture, besides banning commodity futures trading in agri-products.
He said that his party in its pre-budget paper, has advocated that the interest rates on the loans given to the farmers should be brought down to four per cent from the current seven per cent.
The growing number of suicides is all because of not having proper institutional banking facilites in the rural areas, Mr Yechury said, adding that as a result of this the farmers are exploited by the moneylenders who charge very high interest rates.
He said the National Commission on Farmers headed by Dr M S Swaminathan also said that the PDS system should be revamped with increased public investment in agriculture.
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