PM says centre and states should come jointly to fight price rise issue

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the Centre and States should come together to fight rising food prices.

Addressing a chief ministers' conference on how to contain the price rise, Dr. Singh said:

"Why are states not doing enough to increase productivity? There are serious problems due to additional taxes in states. They must ensure food released reaches intended beneficiaries soon," he added.

He also said the government was taking all necessary steps to curb the price rise and that food prices would stabilize soon.

He also warned hoarders of strict action under the Essential Commodities Act.

Besides chief ministers, the meeting is being attended by several Union ministers, including Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

As the meeting began, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said steps taken by Centre to curb prices were inadequate and added that this meeting should have been called earlier.

"The current crisis of sugar availability is largely due to lack of good governance and political will to combat the crisis quickly," he added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the Centre should help state governments increase subsidy on essential commodities to pull down prices.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said the Centre should ban forward trading of all essential commodities.

The meeting comes a day after a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, during which Pawar came under fire for his handling of the price rise crisis. Many Congress leaders hit out at the minister without naming him. (ANI)

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