States too should take responsibility to check prices: Cong

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) Congress today said a high-levelmeeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on inflationshows the UPA government''s "sensitivity" towards the issue,but put the onus on the states to check the menace.

"The real challenge is how do you reduce the gap betweenthe farm gate prices and the prices which consumers pay, andto a large extent the responsibility also vests with the stategovernments...because the power to act to take action againstprofiteers, hoarders and those who speculate are with stategovernments," party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.

Tewari at the same time maintained that "the PrimeMinister personally convened a meeting of the senior mostministers of the UPA government to take cognizance of thesituation itself, (which) shows the sensitivity of the UPAgovernment".

The Prime Minister held the meeting with seniorministers including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, HomeMinister P Chidambaram, and Food and Agriculture MinisterSharad Pawar. The meeting remained inconclusive and "anotherround of discussion may be held tomorrow," a source said.

Expressing hope that the state governments wouldexercise their powers effectively to contain the menace,Tewari clarified that he was not differentiating on this countbetween Congress or non-Congress governments.

"I am talking about state governments as entities," hesaid, adding that the states should act on the lines of theCentre, which used its investigative agencies to checkhoarding and profiteering in different parts of the countryand carried out widespread raids last week.

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