Parties protest inflation rate in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Apr 17 (UNI) The Communist Party of India today staged a protest march against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's inability to control the inflation rate.

The party workers, who assembled in front of the General Post Office, lambasted the Congress-led UPA government for the ''price rise of essential commodities'' which has affected the people.

'' The Congress has betrayed us (Left parties) by helping Multinational Corporations (MNCs) and other business interests and had failed to adhere to the Common Minimum Programme,'' CPI leader D Dympep said.

Mr Dympep said the most glaring failure of the UPA government was its inability to control price rise and provide food grains at subsidised rates to the poor. He added that the food subsidy system was in shambles and the poor were denied access through a number of ''unreasonable conditions'' imposed.

Yesterday, opposition Congress had tried to bring an adjournment motion in the Assembly against the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government over the issue.

However, Speaker Bindo M Lanong did not allow the Congress legislators to move stating that the government had taken initiatives to tackle the inflation rate in the state.

The state unit of the BJP also held a sit-in dharna here yesterday, as part of the nationwide protest, against the ''price rise of essential commodities'' in the country.

Meanwhile, the East Khasi Hills district administration has directed all the shop owners to display price list of all essential commodities in their respective shops.

East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner B Dhar said public, as customers, had the right to know the prices of essential commodities and price list should be displayed at the shops.

Urging members of the public to inform the authorities concerned if shops refused to put up the price list of essential commodities, Mr Dhar said government officials would inspect the markets every now and then to ensure that there was no manipulation of prices of essential commodities fixed by the government.

The Khasi Students' Union (KSU) has issued a two-week deadline to all the shopowners to fix the prices of essential commodities according to the government notified rates.

In a statement issued yesterday, the farmers' and consumers' cell of the KSU also warned that they would lodge a complaint if the shop owners failed to obey the government instructions.

Earlier, state Food and Civil Supplies Minister, J A Lyngdoh had instructed the district-level price monitoring committees to meet every fortnight to monitor the price situation, besides directing all retailer shops to display their stock and prices of essential commodities.

The Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government had also asked the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to keep sufficient buffer stocks to avoid any lapse in distribution of essential items besides activating the Public Distribution System (PDS) to ensure timely availability of adequate subsidised commodities for the people.


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