GUWAHATI, Aug 13 - Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dr Nazrul Islam today admitted that the price of essential commodities, especially pulse and onion, has gone up abruptly this year.
However, he was quick to add that the abrupt rise in prices was due to the bad crop resulting from poor weather condition in the source States, coupled with increased transportation charges.
Replying to a question by AIUDF MLA Ali Hussain at the State Assembly, the Minister informed that although the prices of essential commodities had gone up from time to time from 2005 to 2011, the scenario remained more or less static after that.
�It is again in this year that prices of pulse and onion have gone up. But it has nothing to do with the State factors,� the Minister said.
He told the House that onion price at places like Patna, Rajasthan, Nasik, Indore and Bengaluru have gone up and it has affected the end-consumers across the country and not just Assam.
On supplementary questions raised by a number of Opposition legislators on the unavailability of items like flour, salt and kerosene in the fair price shops through Public Distribution System (PDS), Dr Islam said that he will look into the matter if any specific complaint comes across.
On the issue of distribution of subsidised kerosene oil through PDS, he replied that the Centre, as a policy, cuts down the entitlement to the State after increase in LPG connections.
He went on to reply that of the total entitlement, 30 per cent of the kerosene oil is given to hawkers (supplementary question raised by AIUDF MLA Manowar Hussain on the status of the kerosene hawkers) and the rest are distributed through the fair price shops as per the Court�s rule.