Chennai, Apr 8 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu Government will continue to press the Centre to ban online trading in the commodities market to contain the rise in prices of essential commodoties, State Food Minister E V Velu told the Assembly today.
Replying to the debate on the demand for grants for his department, he said that after expressing concern over the rise in prices of essentials, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had written to the Prime Minister to ban online trading.
He said the State Government, which was pressing for the matter, had as a temporary measure, launched a special Public Distribution System scheme, under which it made available toor dal, black gram dal and palm oil for ration card holders. After launching the scheme in March last year, the Government had extended it till July this year in view of the hiked prices in the open market, he added.
Mr Velu said that as rice was provided to card holders at Rs two per kg, much lower than the issue price fixed by the Centre, the State Government had given a subsidy of Rs 1,950 crore during 2007-08.
Stating that the Government was taking stern action against those indulging in smuggling of rice meant for PDS, he said smugglers were being booked under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Essential Commodities Act, Goondas Act and Essential Commodities Act.
After the Government launched free gas stove and gas connection scheme, 4.59 lakh LPG connections were given and due to difficulties experienced in coordinating supply of LPG cylinders and regulators from oil companies, the pace of implementation of the scheme had been gradual. During 2008-09, the Government proposed to provide eight lakh LPG connections with two burner gas stoves at a cost of Rs 160 crore, he said.
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