The government on Thursday said the worst is over and prices of various essential commodities like pulses, sugar and vegetables have started declining - a trend that will continue.
"As stated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (at the meeting of Chief Ministers on price rise), worst time is over. I am absolutely confident about that....the situation will change. We are on line for better days," Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said winding up a day-long discussion in the Lok Sabha on price rise.
The entire opposition staged a walkout dissatisfied over the reply. While the Left Parties, Samajwadi Party and RJD left the House first, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj led the NDA out of the House soon after.
Pawar in his reply, which lasted for more than an hour, doled out statistics to drive home the point that prices of various essential commodities like pulses, sugar, potato and onion have started coming down over the past three months.
On the other hand, farmers in West Bengal are suffering because the prices of potato have crashed, he said, adding the government would take necessary action to safeguard the interest of growers.
Earlier intervening in the debate, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government would initiate action to bridge the gap between wholesale and retail prices to ensure that farmers got a fair deal.
The Rajya Sabha also discussed the issue day-long after Opposition relented for a debate in both Houses under rules which do not involve voting.