The Centre has paved the way for the end of the 10-month-long agitation in Assam and resumption of negotiations on the substantive question of the foreign nationals issue. It announced in Parliament its decision to withdraw on August 2 the notification issued under the Assam Disturbed Areas Act and to release detenus who were not involved with violence “on the clear understanding that the All-Assam Students Union and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad would withdraw all aspects of the agitation with effect from the same date. The blockade on crude oil, however, will continue.
Home Minister Zail Singh announced in the Lok Sabha that the Mizo National Front had agreed to stop all underground activity in Mizoram Irom the midnight of July 31-August 1, 1980. Similarly, he said, the security forces would suspend operations against MNF activists from that date. However, they would continue to check the clandestine crossing of the international borders, besides maintaining and order. In a statement to the House, the Home Minister said the agreement had been achieved following two meetings between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and the MNF leader Laldenga.
FM On Prices
Finance Minster R Venkataraman told the Lok Sabha that now that the price rise graph had reached a plateau, it would soon start levelling up. Replying to the debate on the Finance Bill, he said that while preparing the budget, he was aware that prices would rise, for a while, for a variety of reasons, including the rise in the prices of petroleum products. But this effect had worked itself out now and “there should be no apprehension in anybody’s mind that prices would continue to rise”. He said except for a big rise in the prices of a few items, like petroleum (37.4 per cent) gur and sugar (24.9 per cent) , prices of other commodities had gone up by only 10 per cent.
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