Ban online trading of commodities: Jaya

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Chennai, May 11 (UNI) AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa today said the Centre should immediately ban online trading in essential commodities and also make hoarding as illegal.

In a statement here, she said the two main causes for the price rise were the online futures trading and hoarding of essential commodities.

''Online trading is nothing but gambling, using public resources with no risks or even stakes for the trader,'' she said.

The public declaration of stocks by traders had to be drastically reduced from the present 50,000 tonnes, she said.

The government machinery should be used mercilessly to unearth hoarded stocks and bring down the ''artificially escalated'' prices, she said.

Export of all commodities, which were commonly used in India and for which there was a shortage of supply, should be banned.

Similarly, import restrictions on food items should be liberalised and duties cut to the barest minimum, she added.

Ms Jayalalithaa said the Customs and Excise duties on petrol and diesel should be cut to bring down transportation costs, which had a telescopic effect on the prices of all commodities.

The ''unbridled'' entry of huge business houses and FDI into the retail sector should be regulated and some restrictions be put in place.

''If the Centre fails to take up the above issues on a war-footing within 15 days, it would only reinforce the fact that it is the weakest and most corrupt government to have ruled this country. The AIADMK will launch a nation-wide campaign for its ouster,'' she said.

Ms Jayalalitha also urged the Centre to immediately restore subsidies for agriculture to make agricultural operations economically viable, otherwise to compound the spiralling price rise, the country would have to face an unprecedented famine in the coming years.

She alleged that blind adherence to globalisation agenda had resulted in total removal of subsides in the agriculture sector.

While the US, Japan and most of the other developed countries still offer huge subsidies to agriculturists, the GATT Agreement and the stipulations of the World Trade Organisation were cited as reasons for depriving Indian agriculturists of subsidies.

''As a result, agriculture has progressively become nonviable, pushing farmers to the brink,'' she added.

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