GUWAHATI, July 14 � The State Government is holding monthly review meetings with the Railways, Chambers of Commerce, etc. to keep the prices of essential items under control. It has also asked the deputy commissioners, subdivisional officers, principal secretaries of the autonomous councils also to hold similar meetings and to conduct sudden inspections of the godowns, etc.
Disclosing this, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dr Nazrul Islam told the State Assembly today that to provide succor to the poor families, the State Government has decided to supply 30 kgs of rice to 30 lakh families every month at the rate of Rs 6 a kg.
Already, 10,000 fair price shops have been transformed into �Amar Dokan�s to sell the essential items at the Government approved prices, below the market prices. For these shops, prices would be reviewed and fixed every 15 days, the Minister said.
However, he said, the State is to import almost all the essential items it needs from outside and the transportation cost of these items is also higher because of the distance between the sources and the State�s destinations, the Minister said.
He maintained that 90 per cent of the essential items the State imports, come through the railways. Hence, he said, there is no scope for price escalation due to arbitrary charges for transportation.
Earlier, raising the issue through a call attention motion, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta (AGP) said that petrol prices were hiked on nine occasions last year. The Central Government has been allowing the oil companies to go for hiking the prices of the petroleum products despite the descending prices of these products in the international market.
The oil companies of the country have been effecting hikes in the prices of petroleum products on the plea of their incurring losses. The rise in the prices of petroleum products would lead to rise in the prices of essential items too, said Mahanta.
He warned that the new stocks of the essential items like the food grains and potato, among others, would become costlier due to the decision of the Central Government to allow the oil companies hike the prices of petroleum products.
He suggested withdrawal of the cess on the petroleum products by the State Government and demanded a clarification from the Government on the report that price of an LPG cylinder would soon become Rs 800 and on the steps taken so far to keep the price line of essential commodities under control.