Govt taking steps to curb hike in prices of rice: Minister

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Hyderabad, Aug 29 (UNI) Admitting that there was an increase in the prices of rice in the open market, Andhra Pradesh Food and Civil Supplies Minister K V Krishna Reddy today said the state government had taken many steps to control the price rise.

Replying to questions by Dadi Veerabhadra Rao of TDP and others in the Legislative Council, the minister attributed the price hike to the increase in Minimum Support Price for paddy and price hike in petroleum products.

Detailing various steps taken to curb the price rise, he said the government had regulated the sale of levy-free rice within and outside the state by millers at a ratio of 2:1 to ensure that adequate stocks of rice were maintained in the market at affordable prices.

He said the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Commodities Dealers (Licensing, Storage and Regulation) Order 2008 had been issued in respect of rice, wheat, pulses, edible oils and edible oil seeds to regulate the stock limits.

Verification of stock position of paddy and rice was done with the rice millers, traders and exporters to prevent hoarding.

Denying the Opposition's charge that the government was not conducting inspections and checks against rice millers, he said periodical inspections were conducted against rice millers and traders. Stocks of paddy, rice and broken rice were seized for violation of rules, he added.

Stating that the government had so far seized 2.2 lakh tonnes of rice worth Rs 333 crore, he said this rice was being sold through the Public Distribution System.

To control the prices, the government had opened 992 counters at 'Rythu Baazars' in the state and had supplied 35,552 quintal rice so far, he added.

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