The Minister said that overall inflation has come down except for seasonal items like potato, onion and tomato due to lack of sufficient godowns at farm fields.

"We have sufficient supply of rice and wheat. Storage of these two commodities alone is not a solution to address the issue of price rise. We need to store those commodities such as pulses and edible oils which we import," Paswan said.

That apart, there is a need to encourage farmers to grow crops other than rice and wheat, he said.

“We should promote cultivation of those crops, which we import. We should give incentives to encourage farmers in this regard. We are focusing on this issue," the Minister said.

The country imports around 3 million tonnes of pulses and 11 million tonnes of edible oil annually. On inflation, the Minister said that the overall inflation has come down from over last year.

"Inflation in primary ariticles has also come down. Overall inflation has also come down. There are seasonal items like onion, potato and tomato for which there are not sufficient godowns," he said.

He also pitched for setting up of common national market, giving freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside mandis.

On food law, the Minister felt that although the entitlement of 5 kg per person a month under the food law is less, the legislation covers maximum population at an highly subsidised price of Rs 1-3 per kg.

Paswan however pointed out that the law, which was to be implemented from July 4, 2013, has "unfortunately" been rolled out only in 11 states so far.

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