GUWAHATI, Dec 4 - The State Assembly today witnessed noisy scenes over the rise in prices of essential commodities, especially onion, with the legislators of the Opposition Congress party staging a walk out.
The Congress legislators decided to walk out of the House moments after Food and Civil Supplies Minister Phani Bhusan Choudhury started replying to questions raised under Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business initiated by Congress MLA Ajanta Neog.
The Minister, in his reply, informed the House that the State has sought 1000 metric tonnes of onion from the Centre, and the consignment should reach the State in a month time. “Rise in the prices of onion is a national phenomenon and to meet the ongoing crisis, the Centre is importing 1160 metric tonne of onions from Egypt and 1100 metric from Turkey. The consignment is expected to arrive in India by January,” he said.
“Assam is a consumer State and the price of onion in the source States is hovering around Rs 80-84 per kilogram. Currently, it is being sold at a price ranging from Rs 80-92 per kilogram in Assam,” Choudhury said. He also assured that the price of onion will drop in one month time.
The Minister also informed the House that a corpus fund to ensure onion price regulation throughout the year will be put in place where the State’s initial contribution will be Rs 50 lakh, while the Centre’s contribution to the corpus fund would be Rs 1.5 crore.
Choudhury attributed the rise in the prices of onion to excess rain leading to crop damage in onion-producing States, including Maharashtra.
Earlier, raising the discussion, Ajanta Neog said that the rise in prices of essential commodities has affected the poor and the middle class the most.
Neog said that the government has failed miserably to check the uncontrolled price rise, be it onion, pulse, kerosene, vegetables, eggs or fish.
“In fact, the well-oiled syndicates are controlling the price of the commodities procured from other States. The Government has no control over the syndicates,” she said.
Speaking on the similar line, Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia, Rafikul Islam (AIUDF), Nurul Huda (Congress) and Rupjyoti Kurmi (Congress) also criticized the government for its failure to control the skyrocketing prices of the essential items.
How many agitations must a people wage before they are considered to be true Indians!