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Ordinance to empower CMs to act against hoarders likely

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 5 (UNI) An Ordinance to arm the Chief Ministers with powers to act against hoarders of essential commodities is on the cards.

An indication to this effect was given here today by Congress Spokesman Rajeev Shukla, who said that the Ordinance may be promulgated before the monsoon session of Parliament.

He told reporters this was necessary to nullify the Order of the then NDA Government dated February 15,2002 rescinding all Control Orders under the Essential Commodities Act which made it impossible to act against hoarders.

Mr Shukla pointed out that the meeting of Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states, convened to discuss price rise, had requested the Government that the said 2002 order rescinding all Control Orders under the ECA should be reconsidered and State Governments empowered to intervene in cases of hoarding of essential commodities.

He said the Congress President asked the Chief Ministers attending the meet to continue to take measures to strengthen the Public Distribution System(PDS)and ensure that the PDS functioned effectively and the common man could get the essential commodities at reasonable prices. She told the Chief Ministers to ceate a network of ration shops for the purpose.

Ms Gandhi also asked the Chief Ministers to galvanise the procurement of foodgrains. He pointed out that 90 per cent of the procurement had been done by Punjab and Haryana with Uttar Pradesh doing the lowest procurement tothe tune of 50,000 tonnes.

Ms Gandhi, according to Mr Shukla, also asked the Chief Ministers to take credible action against hoarders and to moderate diesel prices.

Asked why only Chief Ministers of Congress ruled states had been called at the meeting, he did not rule out the possibility of the Prime Minister calling all the Chief Ministers to consider this issue.

The Prime Minister and Finance Minister listened to the views expressed by the Chief Ministers, he said The Chief Ministers of Punjab, Asom and Meghalaya could not attend the meeting, the former two because of sickness and the latter because of the ongoing Assemly session.

UNI YS YA ND1854

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