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Nitish Blames Centre For Price Rise

PTI 14 Jan 2010, 17:02:50 PM IST

Coming down heavily on the Centre for rise in prices of essential commodities, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's announcement to convene a meeting on the issue was like "starting digging a well to extinguish the fire".

The prime minister should instead call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue and ensure actual and profitable prices to farmers for their products, the JD(U) leader said.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said the Prime Minister would convene a meeting of all Chief Ministers in the last week of this month to discuss prices situation and take stern action against hoarders.

"The Centre and its policies are fully and solely responsible for the price rise... On one hand prices of seeds, fertilisers, diesel and insecticides are gradually increasing while on the other the farmers are not receiving appropriate prices for their products," Kumar told reporters in Patna.

The Centre, he charged, had no long-standing policy to rein in the price rise. "It is bereft of any precautionary step in this matter."

The state governments, however, were fully alert and cautious to act against hoarders and black marketers, he claimed.

Kumar stressed on the need for profitable prices for products of farmers and making available commodities to consumers with "legitimate profits".

 "Farmers are not getting the minimum support price for their products and are also facing a lot of problem from the Food Corporation of India (FCI)," he said. PTI