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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 21 April 2024 8.34 PM IST

Supplyco price hike: Assembly adjourned following war of words between ruling and opposition parties

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Assembly on Thursday witnessed uproar as the opposition protested by raising placards and entering the well of the Assembly pointing out that the hike in the prices of 13 essential items in Supplyco will lead to a huge price hike in the public market. The uproar escalated as members of the ruling party rushed to the centre to face the opposition members. Both sides engaged in an argument by shouting at each other and raising slogans. Following this, Speaker AN Shamseer rushed through the legislative and other business quickly and adjourned the House sine die.

Leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan through a submission alleged that Minister GR Anil insulted the Assembly by increasing the price of items in Supplyco and telling it to the media while the Assembly was in session.

"The government, which came to power promising the people that prices would not be hiked, has now slashed the 70 percent subsidy in half. 13 essential items are nowhere to be found," Satheesan said.

However, Minister GR Anil said that he did not make an announcement outside the House and was responding to the doubts of the media persons.

"The subsidy was increased from 25% to 35%. With the increase in subsidy, the price will decrease in the market. The price of subsidized goods was last increased in 2014. That time, it was added three times. Essentials are still provided at 2014 rates. There is a huge difference between the price in the public market and the subsidized rate. 40 lakh families buy items from Supplyco. Through market intervention, Supplyco has a liability of 35 crores per month and 425 crores per annum. As there is a 35% subsidy, goods worth Rs 1446 will be available to people at Rs 940. This means that a beneficiary will have a profit of Rs 506. This market intervention of Supplyco should be available to all sections of people at all times. For that, the subsidy price should be revised scientifically and rationally," the minister said.

VD Satheesan pointed out that what the minister said was a lie. However, Speaker AN Shamseer replied that he could only believe the minister's statement that the subsidy was increased. The Speaker said that the Minister has not shown disrespect to the House. Following this, the opposition members entered the well of the House with a black banner that read 'PV and Company robbing Kerala'. The opposition members did not lower the banner despite the Speaker repeating several times that it was not right to disrupt his vision. Later, the members of the ruling party also entered the well and raised slogans against the opposition. As arguments and fighting continued between the two sides, the Speaker hastened the proceedings and declared the House adjourned sine die.

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