Finance Minister R Venkataraman threatened to “use the stick” to compel traders to bring down prices of consumer items. Replying to the debate on the Appropriation Bill in the Lok Sabha, Venkataraman regretted that the excise concessions announced by him in the Budget had not been passed on to consumers by traders. This had belied his hopes. ln its carrot and stick policy, the government had already tried the carrot approach. “If the market does not behave, the stick will have to be used,” he warned. Venkataraman said he was considering asking retail shops to display stock and price lists. If this did not bring down prices, then the government would have to think of other regulating measures. Venkataraman did some plain speaking and hoped traders understood that the government would not take things lying down. “If by their behaviour they invite regulatory measures, they have only themselves to thank,” he said.
The orgy of violence triggered by the farmers’ agitation in Dharwad district remained unabated for the fourth day with reports of looting and mob fury pouring in from several towns in north Karnataka. The police opened fire at two places — Koppal and Mulgund — to quell mob fury. One person died in the firing and two were injured. All the six towns including Hubli-Dharwar, which are under dusk-to-dawn curfew remained relatively calm, but trouble erupted in several other towns in Dharwad district and Koppal in Raichur district.
Uttam Kumar Dead
Uttam Kumar, perhaps the greatest matinee idol of the Bengali screen, died of a heart attack tonight. He was 54. He was admitted to a nursing home early in the morning on July 24 and died at 9:35 pm. The body was later taken to his house in South Calcutta.
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