The one issue which must be worrying BJP policy makers could be the rising prices of essential commodities especially at a time country is having surplus grain production in agriculture sector. The fuel prices have seen an uptrend as expected. There is no doubt that the rising petro prices are no doubt would indirectly fuel the inflation which government has been assuring to keep under the check. Worried over the spike in food prices, the Union Government has asked the states to put their plans in place to augment supply so that the situation can be stabilized. Most of the items like pulses, tomato and onion and vegetables have seen an uptrend in prices compared to last year at the same time period. The action plan to deal with the situation that has been agreed by the states includes action against hoarding and black marketing, identifying the vulnerable areas where supply shortage occur and ensure the smooth supply especially of items of common consumption. The BJP had made the promises of bringing down the rising prices of essential as the main issue during the last assembly and Parliamentary elections. And half journey has been covered and the saffron party is still struggling to come out of it. The rising prices of essential commodities turned out to be the nemesis of UPA II which till date has not been able to come out of the defeat it faced in the elections. The irony is that situation has worsened further at a time when country is importing cereals to stem the demand on the one side and the grain production including rice and wheat has seen upward movement thus reducing India’s dependence on grain imports. The agriculture sector has the largest manpower employed with over 49 per cent of the population involved. But India consumes pulses in much higher standards so the imports. Agriculture needs to be diversified from the conventional and traditional corps to high value and high yield pulses to meet the domestic demand, check price line and check the growing wastage while storing and transportation.
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