Kolkata, July 2 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday blamed the union government's policy of allowing forward trading in agricultural commodities as one of the reasons behind price rise.
"This forward trading policy of central government is also responsible for price rise, as many dishonest people are using this policy to raise the prices of essentials," Banerjee said.
Since the launch of commodity futures in 2003, politicians have often charged that futures trading leads to price speculation and that causes high food price inflation.
In recent months, futures prices in some commodities have risen faster than physical prices and there are reports that the commodities market regulator, the Forward Markets Commission, is examining the possibility of stopping futures trading in various commodities and reducing the quantities that can be traded during the lean season.
Banerjee said a task force has been formed to keep a check on black marketing and illegal hoarding of agricultural products in the state.
"We have formed a task force. They will monitor everything and will meet everyday. There has been good agricultural production this year. There are few middlemen who are buying the vegetables at one rate and are selling those at double rate. Such hoarders and people engaged in black marketing are creating this price rise," said Banerjee.
Bannerjee said she has instructed the police and the Enforcement Directorate to carry on raids to keep a check on illegal hoarding.
Banerjee also blamed the previous Left Front government for not creating proper infrastructure.
"They should not talk much what they have done in last 34 years. Why have they not created any infrastructure to tackle black marketing?"