Prices: Centre must check hoarding first

It may not be possible for the Centre to check the prices of essential commodities through the state governments. If the Centre is keen on holding the price line, it must direct the Reserve Bank of India to cancel the credit limit facility of the businessmen.

Clearly, shopkeepers, hoarders and commission agents, in collusion with some officials, are having a field day these days. They are able to stock large quantities of food products because of the short-term credit facilities extended by the banks. If these finances are denied to them, they won’t be able to hoard things. The District Magistrates should tighten their belts. They must check the unprecedented price hike in the market.

S.R. KAUSHAL, Chandigarh


The current skyrocketing price of wheat is not due to low production but the lack of government’s foresight. Its knee-jerk reaction to import wheat at the prevailing high international price is a retrograde step.


Instead, the government should re-launch wheat procurement from the farmers on the pattern of the voluntary disclosure scheme (VDS) at par with the imported wheat price (Rs 1,100 a quintal) for a limited period of two weeks.

It is an open secret that farmers, both rich and poor, would hold back their wheat stocks for reaping rich dividends during the lean period from December to February. During this period, the prices of wheat will touch new high and farmers rush to the market to avail themselves of this scheme.

S.S. GILL, Jagraon


If reports were to bear scrutiny, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Defence Minister Pranab Mukerjee and Congress leader Digvijay Singh blamed each other for the rising prices of wheat and pulses at the recent CWC meeting. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was also on the mat.

At the end, the CWC meeting merely passed a resolution asking the government to reduce the prices of essential commodities! Wasn’t the a sheer waste of time of the ministers?

S.L. SURI, Kapurthala


The common man is unable to cope with the price rise. Price rise of items like vegetables, sugar, dal is breaking the backbone of the lower middle class. It has become difficult for the salaried class to manage the monthly budget with the same income. And now the ever-increasing prices of petrol and diesel have left one confused and insecure and one is unable to calculate what will be next month’s budget. The increasing price rise is breeding hatred and resentment among the people.


Narsinghpur (MP)


The common man and the poor are forced to bear the brunt of price hike. The UPA government is not doing anything. It is only blaming the erstwhile NDA government for the present mess. This is not good governance. It is common knowledge that during the NDA regime, prices were under check with the inflation rate the lowest ever. The government should wake up from its slumber.


Time to join ranks

Congratulations on an excellent front-page editorial, by H.K. Dua, The peace process has ended (July 14). The exhortation in the last but one paragraph is most timely:

“War against terrorism is going to take a long time and much is needed to win it. Besides the governments, irrespective of their complexion, the people and political parties have to ensure that internal peace is maintained. They need to keep their petty concerns and squabbles, differences on caste and controversies over reservations or on temple aside to forge national unity.”

As a first step, since effective detection of terrorist activities can only be by gathering “intelligence” — and since monitoring mobile phone conversation is the most fruitful source — we must have a law that provides that where a prosecution (initiated with the permission of the magistrate) is for antinational and terrorist activities, the record of any telephone or electronic conversation, howsoever obtained, would be admissible as evidence in courts of law.

There is almost no other way in which the terrorist can be nabbed and nailed. The consequential fallout — embarrassment or loss of privacy to some of our honest law-abiding citizens would be a small price to pay for preserving the nation, and keeping intact the life and liberty of the vast majority of its inhabitants.

As for VIPs — that offensive government-sponsored label that perennially divides the “great” from the small - they too, must contribute to the national good by surrendering voluntarily excess security personnel deployed to “protect” them, so that the common man and woman can be assured greater police vigilance. It was not VIPs or their families who travelled in cars under armed escort that suffered in the dastardly Mumbai blasts; it was the humbler unprotected thousands who commuted by train.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (of “Dr Zhivago fame) once said: “A man accustomed to moving about in the streets riding a motorcar can never understand a pedestrian — not even at a symposium or forum”! How true. People in the upper echelons of society, the people who make and administer the laws, bureaucrats and officials — they all are simply out of touch with the rest of the people. They move in different worlds. The supreme need of the hour is for all of us, at all levels of civil society, to join ranks, come closer together, and strive to become more equal.




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