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Consumer Affairs secretary

Dec 12, 2019, 10.07 AM IST

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CONSUMER AFFAIRS SECRETARY

Prices of 20 of 22 key food items rose steadily in 2019: Consumer Affairs Ministry

Rise in prices of almost all essential food items has become a cause of huge concern for the government.

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  • The agency, however, has maintained a BBB- rating for India, which is its lowest investment grade rating. Anything below this grade would adversely impact India’s benchmark 10-year bond yields, which are already on a performance slump. Economic affairs secretary had on Dec 3 tweeted that S&P has reaffirmed sovereign rating at BBB- with stable outlook.

    Onion prices have been ruling high for past few weeks due to fall in production of the Kharif crop following unseasonal rainfall in key growing states, including Maharashtra. The price of onion was ruling at around Rs 120/kg in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, while it was around Rs 100/kg in Delhi on Friday, as per the latest data.

    "We hope to welcome the new year with the first disbursal of the Special window for stalled housing projects which will be operational in 2 months," Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty said on Friday.

    The budget for 2020-21 to be presented on February 1 is keenly awaited for the expected second wave of structural reforms for pulling out the economy from its over six-year low growth. In addition to expenditure secretary, the position of joint secretary, one of the key officials in the entire Budget-making process, is also vacant for almost three months.

    The government is closely monitoring the prices of onions which is rising everyday due to short supply in the market. There is a huge shortage of the bulb this year due to heavily rains in the onion growing states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

    "The Centre has the power to make BIS standard (on piped drinking water) mandatory. We have already written a letter to the jal shakti ministry," Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Paswan told reporters here. The minister said his mission is to ensure safe and quality water to people of not only the national capital but across India.

    Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on November 29 announced that hallmarking will be mandator...

    Earlier, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed Parliament that the government has taken steps to rein in onion prices and has initiated steps to improve technology for its better storage. On Thursday, opposition parties staged a protest over the rising onion prices in the Parliament premises.

    Last week, the Cabinet had decided to import 1.2 lakh tonnes of onions to improve the domestic supply and control prices, which touched Rs 100 per kg earlier this month.

    This year, the government has allowed 400,000 tonnes of tur dal import and the window closes on Friday. The import window for urad and moong closed on October 31. “Like onion, pulses may also see a steep price rise. Delay in allowing imports will not help,” said the consumer affairs ministry official.

    “S&P has reaffirmed sovereign rating of India at BBB- with stable outlook. They have stated that India’s economy continues to achieve impressive long-term growth rates despite a recent deceleration,” economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty said in a tweet.

    Prices have surged after rain and floods during Oct and Nov limited onion supply, especially in Maharashtra.

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