Stop future trading in all essential commodities, FAM

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Mumbai, Apr 17 (UNI) Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) today urged the state government to stop future trading in all essential commodities, to curb the steep rise in food items.

Speaking to reporters here, FAM president Mohan Gurnani said the state government should stop the ''harassment'' through raids by excise officers on wholesale and retail traders across the state.

Traders are ready to cooperate with government to stabilise prices of all essential items, he said adding there should be minimum gap in supply and demand in food products, only then the prices of essential commodities would be steady.

Mr Gurnani said traders have also demanded abolition of value added tax (VAT) and service tax in essential items. FAM has appealed to the Union government to implement uniform limits on stocks in all essential items, so that stocks hoarding by traders can be avoided.

He said the current inflation rate is based on the inflation in raw materials between five and ten per cent. However, in food products the inflation is only of two and three per cent.

According to Mr Gurnani, the present crisis of retail prices is created by Multi National Companies (MNC), who purchase food products from farmers directly and hoard the unlimited stocks in their godowns. Later, they sell the goods at higher rates in malls and other centres across the state, which reflects the bullish phase in the current scenario, he said.

The local traders have the right to stock only 3,000 metric tonnes against the unlimited stocks by MNC operators, he said.

Speaking to UNI, FAM secretary Kishor Kharawala said over 1000 traders across the state will participate in ''Inflation Rally'' on April 23 at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. A memorandum will also be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, he said.

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