Mah: Oppn stages walk out over inflation

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Mumbai, Apr 4: The Shiv Sena-BJP members today staged a walk out in both houses of the Maharashtra Legislature, alleging that the State Government had not been able to control increase in prices of essential commodities and the increasing rate of inflation, which has touched a three-year high at 7 per cent.

They were dissatisfied with the reply in the council, given by Civil Supplies Minister Sunil Tatkare on the price rice and black marketing, flourishing in the State in an organised manner.

The issue of inflation was raised by Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena), who alleged that the State Government was doing nothing to control the prices. He said the frequent increase in petrol and diesel prices had hit the people hard, but the State Government has not made any provisions in the budget for checking inflation.

In the assembly, the issue of price hike was raised by leader of opposition Ramdas Kadam, and Eknath Khadse (BJP). Sena member Neelam Gorhe said during the Sena-BJP tenure, prices of essential commodities had been kept under check, but the incumbent government has failed to tackle this issue. She said that prices have risen owing to lack of storage facilities for vegetables and other essential items.

Pasha Patel (BJP) said farmers in the state are facing severe problems as they are not being paid proper prices for their crops although the cost of agricultural inputs have risen.

Arun Gujrati of NCP also expressed the need to check the prices of foodgrains, but said it was wrong to blame the Government for the inflation. He also stressed need for some control on future trading.

Later, Civil Supplies Minister Sunil Tatkre informed the House that the State Government is worried about the rise in prices and is taking appropriate steps. Palm oil prices will be reduced, in between Rs 25 to Rs 30, in May and the State is also trying to reduce prices of cereals by importing them, he said. ''Strict action will be taken against hoarders,'' the Minister assured.

The Government, he said, would provide subsidy on essential commodities and the receipt would be mandatory for purchase from fair price shops.


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