Govt constitutes high level panel to look into volatility in pulses prices

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The Central government has decided to constitute a high-level committee to look into volatility in prices, Food Minister said on Tuesday.

It has also decided to keep the prices of rice, wheat and other coarse cereals distributed through the Public Distribution System (PDS) under the National unchanged for one more year, he said.

"Daam badhe to dikkat, ghate to dikkat (it's a problem when prices of go up and it creates a problem when it goes down)! Do you remember how much backlash we had to face during Bihar Assembly elections?," asked Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs.

"After that, we created a buffer stock of 2 million tonnes. It curbed middlemen and prices started to come down. This year has been a bumper year in terms of production of The prices have come down.

We have constituted a high-level committee to look into the matter," he added.

The government has, keeping in mind the general election scheduled in 2019, decided to keep the prices of rice, wheat and other coarse cereals in unchanged for a year more.

"According to provisions of Food Security Act, 2013, the prices of cereals are revised in every three years. However, it has not been touched upon in last five years. The PM had asked to not to increase the price for one more year," said the minister.

The Act promises coarse cereals at Re 1 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and at Rs 3 per kg to more than 810 million beneficiaries in the country.