Thursday, August 18, 2022

Cong walk-out as FM explains price rise

Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman, responding to the debate on price rise in the Lok Sabha today, gave an account of all the parameters to assess the economy, and said there is no chance of the country going into recession or stagflation. In the middle of her response, the Congress staged a walkout, saying they were not satisfied with her response.
“The pandemic, second wave of Covid, Omicron, Russia-Ukraine—in spite of all this we have held the inflation at 7 per cent or below. And that has to be recognised,” Sitharaman said.
“Currently retail inflation is at 7 per cent. During UPA rule from 2004 to 2014, the inflation went into double digits. During that period, the inflation was above 9 per cent for 22 consecutive months,” she said.
Most of the inflation, she said, is in food and fuel. “Food inflation is coming down in the world, and it will come down in India also,” she added.
Declaring that India is still better off than other nations, Sitharaman said the GDP of US fell 0.7 per cent in second quarter, after logging 1.9 per cent in the first quarter.
The minister’s response came after 10 days of chaos in parliament as the opposition demanded a discussion on price rise. Treasury and Opposition benches agreed for discussion on the price rise issue in the lower house.
Around 20 members across parties participated in the discussion. Even like-minded parties like Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and the YSR Congress urged the government to intervene to arrest inflation.
Congress MP Manish Tewari, starting the discussion, said the government’s decisions have hit hard 25 crore households in the country and widened the divide between the rich and the poor.
Sangeeta Azad (BSP) said prices of fruits and vegetables have gone up adding to the hardship of the common man.
Nama Nageswara Rao (TRS) demanded that the Centre should protect the farmers by increasing the procurement of foodgrains.
Countering the Centre’s defence that fuel prices are rising due to the fuel bonds purchased by Congress, BJD’s Pinaki Misra said the Centre has collected 27.27 lakh crore through fuel taxes. Expressing regret over hike in GST on some essential food items, Supriya Sule (NCP) said it has burdened the poor people.

TMC MP bites raw brinjal in Lok Sabha

TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar in Lok Sabha, Monday.

In a dramatic twist to the debate on price rise in the Lok Sabha on Monday, TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar bit into a raw brinjal to ask if the Modi government was encouraging people to consume raw food as cooking gas or LPG cylinders were no longer affordable.
Dastidar highlighted that high gas prices have made cooking expensive for the poor section of society.
“I thank the chair for allowing a debate on price rise,” the MP said, and added, “It has taken a long time for even the debate to take place”. Subsequently, she asked, “Does the government want us to eat raw vegetables,” and bit into brinjal to show that LPG gas cylinders have become costly and that one-day people will have to eat uncooked vegetables.


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