Nitish urges Prime Minister to check rising price

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Patna, Jun 7 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take urgent effective steps for checking the rising prices of essential commodities in the country.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was released here, Mr Kumar said the state government was keeping a close watch on the trend in prices of essentials and taking all possible steps to control it.

''Despite our all efforts, the overall inflationary trend in the country has pushed the prices of essentials up in the state, affecting the common man,'' he added.

''The overall inflationary trends are a result of the overall economic policies of the Union government, in which the states have a little role to play,'' Mr Kumar noted.

''Some states have imposed stock limits. Imposing stock limits in these state, have not made any difference to the price of essentials, as price rise is a result of economic policies at the national level,'' he pointed out.

''Foodgrain production has recorded a new hight this year. This should offset possibilities of shortages, which often contribute to spiraling price rise. Bihar has also registered its presence in a signifacant way on the procurement map of the country, '' he said.

From a situation where the procurement had been a few thousand MTs during the previous years, Bihar had already procured 3.06 lakh MT of wheat till date, he added.

Mr Kumar said the state government had also financially supported the procurement efforts by giving an additional bouns of Rs 25 per quintal of wheat procured.

''The Bihar government has also initiated several steps to strengthen Public Distribution System (PDS). The introduction of coupons for purchase of food grains from PDS in the state is also expected to ensure that weaker and vulnerable sections of the society are not denied of their basic need. The delivery mechanism and the foodgrain movement mechanism have also been overhauled,'' he informed.

''The efforts by the state government have kept the price under control to some extent, but the overall economic policy of the Central government and the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products have contributed to the present price rise, which is a matter of concern and requires immediate intervention of the Prime Minister,'' he underlined.

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