Taking serious note of the soaring prices of foodgrains and basic goods, LDF government in Kerala on Monday announced a Rs 150-crore market intervention plan to supply items through state-run outlets at subsidised rates.
Announcing the scheme at a press meet on Monday, state Civil Supplies Minister said Rs 28 crore would be set apart to control the price of rice, staple foodgrain of the people for which the state heavily depends on supplies from other states.
The official machinery would be geared up to crackdown on unfair trade practices like hoarding and speculation, which, he said, were the main factors for the spurt in price hike.
The state would also lift special foodgrain quota allotted by the Centre to replenish stocks in the public distribution system.
Divakaran said speculative trade by big retail chains was one of the major reasons for the current phase of price rise and it was for the Centre to take steps against it.
The civil supplies corporation would open 100 new 'Maveli' stores to make available essential items to the common man at reasonable rates. He said as many as 2,300 raids were conducted across the state last week alone as part of anti-hoarding measures and 300 cases registered.
Meanwhile, Congress-led UDF said it would organise a series of agitations against LDF government's `failure' to check spiralling prices of essential commodities.
Addressing reporters after a meeting of UDF leaders in Thiruvananthapuram, UDF convener Thankachan said the stir would start with a blockade of the secretariat here by women on December 22.