New Delhi: With retail inflation hitting a six-year high, the Congress on Tuesday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately convene an all-party meeting and provide a roadmap to address the issue. The government on its part said that they are “observing” everything and had to see the farmers’ interest as well.
The attack from the Congress began early mo-rning with a tweet from Priyanka Gandhi who tweeted about spiralling prices of vegetables and essential commodities which is hitting the poor.
“The prices of vegetables and other edible commodities are getting out of reach of the common man. What will the poor eat when vegetables, oil, pulses and flour turns expensive. The poor are not even getting employment due to the economic recession. The BJP government has not just picked the pockets of the poor but also kicked on their stomach,” the tweet in Hindi said.
Shortly thereafter, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the government of practicing the politics of hate and division and urged him instead to focus on development.
“We demand that the PM should come forward and convene a meeting of all parties and present a roadmap for tackling prices of essential commodities in the next 30 or 60 days,” he said.
Questioning Mr Modi’s silence over the “unprecedented” increase in prices of food items, he also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi lay a roadmap for tackling inflation.
Asked about the rise in prices of essential items, food and consumer affairs minister Ramvilas Paswan said: “The government is observing everything. We are observing prices of oil and pulses too. Sixty per cent of refined oil requirements are imported in the country. We have to see the farmers’ interests as well as the consumers’ interests.”
Mr Paswan also said that the government had dealt with high onion prices and blamed the state government for not making use of the stock.
The Centre has procured 18,000 tonnes of onion and is making them available to the state governments at `22 per kg. “Around 18,000 tons of onion has been imported now. But even after all the efforts, only 2,000 tonne of onion has been sold. We are providing onion at `22 per kg now. I have always maintained that the government is making all efforts to make onions available. We are observing the prices and when the time comes we will take action on it,” he told the media.
“We are bearing the transportation cost of onions and working on ‘no-profit, no-loss’ policy. So far, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have procured onions from the Centre,” Mr Paswan said.
According to data released on Monday, retail inflation rose to about a five-and-half year high of 7.35 per cent in December 2019, surpassing the RBI’s comfort level, mainly due to spiralling prices of vegetables as onions were selling costlier....