AP bars free rice movement

Written by Commodities Bureau | Hyderabad, Aug 8 | Updated: Aug 9 2008, 06:38am hrs
In a bid to hold the surging rice prices in the State, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to impose stringent norms on rice millers and traders. The good quality rice (known as Karnool rice) is available at Rs 30 per kg in the State, as against the government price of Rs 14 to 16 per kg.

Ragged over un-relented attitude of rice millers and traders, the Chief Minister has asked the officials to withdraw the earlier order allowing free transport of rice with in the State.

The State government, through its order, allowed the traders and rice millers to transport rice freely within the State, anticipating that the measure would enable the trade to make available the rice across the state at reasonable price. But, they (millers and traders) are misusing the eased regulations to enhance their profit, resulting in exorbitant rise in the prices, a civil supplies official pointed out.

Officials said that the Chief Minister had order the department to up the surprise checks and raids to prevent hoardings and black-marketing of rice and other essential commodities.

Notwithstanding the repeated appeals from the government, the traders have constantly increased the prices of essential commodities, especially - rice, wheat, pulses and edible oils in the State. It is surprising that the Sstate had record production of paddy in the current season, while the price of rice is also at its peak, the officials said.

Further, the Chief Minister had instructed civil supplies department to coordinate and directly sell rice through Rythu Bazaars, PDS system and additional sale points at Rs 14 to 16 a kg.

The government is planning to open 33 stationary counters and two mobile rice sale counters in Hyderabad and similar sale points in other urban centres in the State, sources said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister had constituted group of ministers headed by finance minister K Rosaiah to go in the details of the price rise and suggest measures to control the measures to control prices of essential commodities. Sources said that the government is mulling to issue an order christened, AP Scheduled Commodities Dealers (licensing, storage and regulation) Order, 2008, to regulate licensing and stock limits for rice and edible oils.