Soaring prices may come down in 8-10 days: Sharad Pawar

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (ANI): Union Agricultural Minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday expressed hope that the soaring prices of essential commodities will start coming down in eight to ten days.

Addressing the media after the meeting of Cabinet Committee on prices, Pawar said: "With the measures we have taken, the prices of essential commodities are expected to start coming down in eight to 10 days,"

Pawar also informed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the Chief Minister's meeting on January 27 to discuss the issue.

Prime Minister is likely to discuss the measures to be taken to implement the Essential Commodities Act with the Chief Ministers.

Pawar also said that state governments were not lifting the wheat and rice stocks made available to them by the central government.

"Out of the two million tonnes of wheat that had been allocated to the states only 159,000 tonnes had been lifted, while only 209,000 tonnes of the one million tonnes of rice that had been allocated had been lifted," he said.

Pawar asked the state governments to take stern action against hoarders of food.

He added that the Centre would take stern steps to check smuggling of sugarcane and sugar from India to Nepal.

He also announced a major relaxation of norms for the import of raw sugar.

"To expedite the refining of raw sugar and improve availability in the market, the government has relaxed the central excise rules to enable its processing in mills in any state," Pawar said.

The government has already permitted the import of raw sugar at zero duty up to December 31, 2010. This facility has now been extended for the import of refined sugar. (ANI)

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