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Government committed to price stability: Sitharaman

Posted on Aug 08 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 8 : The government is committed to ensuring price stability and is closely monitoring the situation and taking measures on an ongoing basis to bring down inflation, Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said Friday.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, she listed some of the steps the government has taken in the last three years. These included reducing import duties to zero for wheat, onion and pulses and imposing stock limits on various commodities; suspending futures' trading in rice, urad and tur as a matter of abundant precaution; maintaining the Central Issue Price for rice and wheat; allocating rice and wheat under the Open Market Sales scheme; banning exports of essential items for a short period whenever required, she said.

Some specific measures taken recently to contain food inflation include recommending the delisting of fruits and vegetables from the purview of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee Acts of the states and fixing or revising minimum export price of USD 500 per MT and USD 450 per MT on the export of onions and potatoes, respectively, Sitharaman said.

Among other measures are the inclusion of onions and potatoes under the purview of stock holding limits under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and allocating additionally 50 lakh tones of rice for distribution to BPL (below poverty line) families at BPL prices and above poverty line price for others for the period July 2014 to March 2015 or till implementation of the National Food Security Act by the respective State/UT, whichever is earlier."

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