JAMMU, Dec 4: Expressing strong disapproval of the recent steep increase in the prices of food grains, Harshdev Singh, JKNPP chairman and former Minister, has called upon the CAPD Minister to roll back the same in view of severe hardships caused to the common man. He said that huge increase in the prices of ‘atta’ and rice had come as a shocker to the general public who had been awaiting the arrival of “Achhe Din” with baited breath. He said that the sharp hike of Rs 5 per kg in the price of Atta from Rs 8 per kg to Rs 13 per kg with further increase in the price of rice from Rs 10 to Rs 15, was most unreasonable and could not be justified by any stretch of imagination. He said that spurt was unprecedented as it amounted to 63 percent increase in the price of atta and 50 percent increase in the price of rice which posed the most menacing threat to the pockets of the common man.
Asking the CAPD Minister to specify the reasons for such sharp hike, Harsh said that the decision was violative of the spirit of National Food Security Act (NFSA). He said that the Food Corporation of India had also been supplying ration to the State at much lesser prices and to increase the same unilaterally was an obnoxious move that had created a lot of resentment amongst the general masses. Seeking the indulgence of the Union and State Ministers, Singh sought immediate roll back of enhanced rates failing which the common men would be forced to resort to direct action.
Accusing further the CAPD Department of bias and prejudice in the process of revision of BPL lists, Singh said that the departmental functionaries were guided by extraneous considerations rather than the prescribed guidelines. He demanded affixing the lists of BPLs as well as APLs on the notice boards of all ration Depots and Fair price shops including the ration received, the quality of ration, scale to be provided to each beneficiary and the rate charged.