New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took stock of the demand-supply gap in protein rich food items such as milk, egg and fish and the availability of fertilisers in the backdrop of rising inflation, which could be aggravated by the likelihood of a sub-normal monsoon.

Modi was briefed about the current availability of protein-rich items and steps to increase supplies by officials of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, sources said.

The meeting was attended by, among others,  Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, Fertiliser Minister Anant Kumar and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.

“In today’s meeting, only two departments — Animal Husbandry and Fertiliser — made presentations. Our departments will make presentations next time,” Paswan said.

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying said in its presentation that there was a supply-demand gap in some animal protein foods and stressed the need to promote artificial insemination and other technologies to boost animal yields, sources said.

The shortage of fodder and steps needed to improve the distribution of seeds for fodder cultivation were also discussed, they said.

Sources said the issue related to the demand-supply situation of soil nutrients, their prices and subsidy burden on the government was discussed.

The government announced host of measures yesterday to tame inflation, which soared to a five-month high of 6.01 per cent in May. Egg, meat and fish prices rose 12.47 per cent last month, while milk jumped 9.57 per cent.

The Centre asked states to crack down on hoarders and delist fruits and vegetables from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee list, allowing farmers to sell their produce directly in the open market.

The government also imposed a minimum export price of USD 300 per tonne on onions to curb their exports and decided to release an additional 50 lakh tonnes of rice to states for sale in the open market.

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Free Press Journal