Lucknow, Mar 20: A day after the Uttar Pradesh government ordered its officials to monitor the prices and ensure proper implementation of price control provisions, the state Congress claimed that its stand regarding state responsibility for the price rise has been vindicated. "We had said several times the UP government was responsible for the price rise, but it continued to pass the buck to the Centre," UP Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi said here today.
Admitting the Centre had already accepted that there was a spurt in inflation due to rising crude prices in the international market she held the state government responsible for the rise in foodgrain prices and non-availability of subsidised food items to the poor. "The centre has already sanctioned adequate quantity of foodgrains and other essential commodities, but the state has failed to distribute it among the masses," she alleged. Ms Joshi demanded the state officials should ensure that the blackmarketeers be not let off and raids continued till the prices come down.
On March 19, state Chief Secretary Prashant Kumar Mishra had issued strict instructions to the Commissioners and District Magistrates, asking even after reduction of VAT on 436 commodities and taxes on 1,376 commodities remaining unchanged, why the prices of several essential commodities had increased.
The Chief Secretary further pointed out that the hike in prices of foodgrains, milk products, pulses, medicines and other commodities of daily use by the traders in the name of VAT appears to be an attempt to malign state government's image.