Food Public Distribution System to be strengthened to deal with price rise

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New Delhi, Dec 1 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said price rice was primarily due to the shortage of vital commodities like pulses, sugar and vegetable oil. The strengthening of the public distribution system would come as a relief to the common man, he claimed.

"Price rise is a matter of concern as it affects the common man the most. This situation is mainly due to shortage of essential commodities like pulses, sugar and edible oil. To ameliorate the effect the inflation, PDS needs to be strengthened," he said.

Mukherjee added pulses are produced by a few countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh and they consume most of the produce, so no question arises of exporting pulses to other countries.Availability of sugar is 16 million tonnes but the requirement is 23 million tonnes, similarly availability of edible oil is 92 million tonnes while the requirement is 158.64 million tonnes," he said.

The Finance Minister said the present situation has arisen due to demand and supply imbalance and inflation has no direct relation with economic growth.However, at the same time we are encouraged by the 7.9 percent economic growth during the July-September period. If this continues, then we hope to grow, but we need to be cautious," he said.

Mukherjee said the government is keeping a close eye on the hoarding problem and is in touch with the state governments to find out a way to curb it. (ANI)

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