ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NEW DELHI-Narrowing Options

Narrowing Options AFTER much prevarication, the Food and Agriculture Ministry now claims to have made up its mind to fix the ceiling on the wholesalers' price for wheat at Rs 150 per quintal. An announcement to this effect had been made by Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed at the meeting of the Congress Working Committee last month. It was an impromptu announcement and was made merely to mollify some of the vocal critics in the Working Committee of the manner in which the new wheat policy was working. There was, therefore, no serious intention to implement the decision. However, events have moved rather fast since then and the new wheat policy is now seen even by its advocates to have been a complete failure. The Food and Agriculture Ministry's move to fix a ceiling on the wholesale price by an executive order under the Essential Commodities Act amounts to admission of this failure. The move has been readily cleared by the food ministers of the surplus states, but has still to be discussed at a conference of food ministers of the deficit states.

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