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Inflation, price rise cause of Congress' concern

Inflation and price rise has heightened the Congress? concern over its impact on the common man, reports Saroj Nagi.
None | By Saroj Nagi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2007 11:34 PM IST

Inflation and price rise has heightened the Congress’ concern over its impact on the common man. Senior leader Digvijay Singh on Wednesday called on the government to ban forward trading not just on pulses but on all essential items and called for a "relook" at the minimum support price offered to lift wheat which may not be enough to help build a buffer stock.

"The ban should be coupled with restrictions on stock holdings also. But interstate movement should not be restricted," Singh said, while reacting to the Centre’s decision to keep pulses out of forward trading of commodities.

The former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh also expressed doubts whether the present support price being offered for wheat would enable the government to build up a buffer stock coupled with the fact that the Australian drought would affect production of wheat and its availability in the world market.

"Wheat is going to be a problem. Wheat prices are high. There are doubts whether with the prevailing support price sufficient quantities of wheat can be procured for the buffer stock. The Australian drought will lead to a shortage of wheat in the world market," he said, stopping short of calling for a "relook" at the support price mechanism in the country.

In his opinion, the FCI and other government agencies should directly purchase the wheat at market price. "You can’t force the farmers to sell at a price lower than the market price," he said.

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