Rahul effect: Cong-ruled States to keep vegetables, fruit out of APMC Act

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 27, 2013

Rahul wants discussion with CMs on petroleum, foodgrains and sugar prices

The setback in the recently held Assembly elections is forcing the Congress to take some long-delayed decisions. A high-level meeting of the party has decided to take five steps to fight corruption and price rise, which are seen as the main reasons for the people’s anger against it.

The meeting, convened by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and attended by Chief Ministers of all 12 Congress-ruled States, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Food Minister K.V. Thomas and the MoS for Personnel V. Narayanasamy, decided to take five steps immediately to address the two key issues.

The decisions also include setting up Lokayuktas in all Congress-ruled States by February 28, in line with the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act.

To begin with, Congress-ruled States will keep fruit and vegetables out of the Agricultural Produce Markets Committee Acts of the respective States. The decision will give farmers a choice on where to sell their produce and consumers will get the benefit of lower prices, the party feels.

The States have also been directed to invoke the Essential Commodities Act to deal with hoarding, black marketing and profiteering. “Chronic offenders may also be detained under the Prevention of Black marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act,” a party release said.

Rahul Gandhi said all Congress-ruled States will immediately implement reforms to the public distribution system that are stipulated in the National Food Security Act to eliminate leakages.

It was also decided that all Congress-ruled States would immediately open fair price shops, either by the Government or by Women’s Self-Help Groups, to sell fruit, vegetables and eggs at “reasonable” prices.

A senior Congress functionary, who attended the meeting, told Business Line that another meeting to discuss the spiralling prices of petroleum products, essential commodities, such as foodgrains, pulses, sugar and edible oil, will be held “very soon”.

“Rahul Gandhi will himself convene the meeting as the prices of these products are of concern to the people,” the leader said.


Published on December 27, 2013

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