Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI(M) led LDF
opposition in Kerala on Thursday trooped out of the House to protest
against alleged failure of the government to check price rise
of essential commodities, life saving drugs and fertilizers in
Opposition alleged that UPA government`s wrong economic
policy was responsible for price rise of food items in the
country and Kerala government`s ineptitude handling of the
situation had worsened the probem in the state.
Rejecting opposition allegation while replying to a notice
for an adjournment motion on the issue, Chief Minister Oommen
Chandy said price rise of essential commodities was very
nominal when compared to prices last year this time.
However, Chandy admitted that price of some of the live
saving drugs was exhorbitant in open market and "government is
determined to stop this explotiation by drug manufactures".
Citing an example, he said a medicine for cancer patient
being supplied through Regional Cancer Centre for Rs 700 was
sold in open market for more than Rs 10,500.
Government has convened a meeting of drug manufactures and
other concerned people to discuss the issue here on October
20, he said.
Functioning of Medical Service Corporation would be
strengthened, he added.
With regard to fertilizers, Chandy admitted that prices had
gone up recently. However, he said state government had taken
steps to provide subsidy to farmers for fertilizers.
Seeking leave for the motion, V S Sunil Kumar (CPI), said
government failed to control drug markets.
There was an increase of Rs.600 in the family budget due to
food inflation and hike in tarrif of water and power in the
past three months, he added.
Before walkout, CPI-M deputy leader in the House Kodiyeri
Balakrishnan said frequent hike in the price of petroleum
products was reason for the inflation and wanted the state to
ask Centre to take steps to regulate the prices of petroleum