The inflation-hit UPA must be struck with bewilderment at the breathtaking simplicity of how Tamil Nadu has reduced food price inflation. While the overall price rise is expected to remain at 8-9 per cent in June, this southern state has ensured that prices of essentials like dosas, idlis, pongal are cheaper by 10-15 per cent! The ruling alliance is at its wits end trying to talk prices down. Adopting caveman tactics, they have tried to bludgeon the steel and cement industries to lower their prices. Alas, nothing to seems to be working.
Unlike the UPA, how has Tamil Nadu lowered inflation? Simple. Instead of arm-twisting unwilling businessmen to reduce prices, they have relied on love. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s turned 85 on Tuesday and cheaper dosas and idlis was his birthday gift to the people of the state. Restaurants across the state ensured that this indeed came to pass: “This is something we are giving back in the honour of one of the great leaders of Tamil nadu,” stated an owner of a leading chain of vegetarian restaurants in Chennai.
The UPA must, therefore, junk its outdated ways of lowering inflation through brute force and rely on what makes the world go around. Instead of apologising on national TV for raising prices, especially of fuel, it should appeal to all industrialists, traders and businessmen to cut their prices to honour its fourth birth anniversary. It is funny that it should take so long to figure out that a four-letter word can lick a problem that threatens its prospects at the hustings.