Page 5, 29th October 1943

29th October 1943
Page 5
Page 5, 29th October 1943 — Famine in India

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Famine in India

Nmillis• FROM PAGE. ONE the first thing that the Government of India and the Provincial Governments did was to buy foodstuffs of all kinds in large quantities, without any consideration whatever to the normal conStinker demands in the country. Military requirements quite obviously demanded priority over civilian needs, but this justification notwithstanding, feverish Government buying in the open market shot up the prices of food commodities. Neither the Central nor the Provincial Governments did anything to check the increase — not until the prices had gone up by nearly 200 per cent. " Despite this shortage, Government buying did not cease. On the contrary, it reached phenomenal proportions, justified, presumably, owing to urgent military necessities in the Middle East and Ceylon. Food prices reached new heights—this time victimising a further eighteen million of the population—mostly composed of clerks, teachers, professional men and petty Government officials. Only the upper stratum of Indian society composed of big landowners and industrialists and highly-paid Government officials—this stratum numbers less than a million— remained unaffected."

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