May 23, 2009

State government to continue distributing rice for Rs 2 a kg

Kolkata: After the humiliating electoral setbacks in the Lok Sabha polls, the Left Front government in Bengal has another serious concern at hand — a steep price rise that is rattling the common man.

Not taking any chances, the state government is planning to take up a few measures to tackle the situation. This was announced on Thursday by Minister for Finance Asim Dasgupta at Writers’ Buildings where he held a meeting with Minister for Food and Supplies Paresh Adhikary. “The issue of price rise has become a serious one and the chief minister has expressed grave concern over this. He is going to call a meeting with all concerned on this issue very soon,” Dasgupta said.

He, however, said that price rise was not confined to West Bengal only. “So many factors are there that determine prices. Every state has been affected by this menace. We will have to take effective measures to tackle it,” the minister said. What has become a more serious concern for the state government is the rising price of potatoes and green vegetables. Potato is now selling at Rs 16 per kg at various markets of Kolkata.

Dasgupta said the state government would be able to achieve the target of procuring 16 lakh tonnes of rice, as per the target set for this year. “We have already been able to procure 11 lakh tonnes of rice and we are sure that we will be able to procure the remaining 5 lakh tonnes in the next five months,” Dasgupta said. The finance minister said the state government was determined to continue with the scheme of distributing rice for Rs 2 a kg among the poor. “We have already allotted Rs 422 crore for this scheme,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the state government is also planning to build more godowns for foodgrains. At present, there are 174 such godowns in the state.


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