Oppn steps up attack on inflation, Govt blames states | india | Hindustan Times
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Oppn steps up attack on inflation, Govt blames states

A day when the Opposition parties attacked the government in Lok Sabha over price rise of essential commodities, a beleaguered government sought to shift the onus on the states, saying their poor management had led to shortage of some of these items.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2009 23:14 IST

A day when the Opposition parties attacked the government in Lok Sabha over price rise of essential commodities, a beleaguered government sought to shift the onus on the states, saying their poor management had led to shortage of some of these items.

Replying to a special discussion in the Lok Sabha on the price rise, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said unless the state governments took action against hoarding, the Centre would not be able to control the soaring prices.

“I have written to the chief ministers that if the state government machinery is not alert, it will be difficult to provide relief to the people,” Pawar said.

At a time when the Opposition was attacking the government, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee intervened, saying the state governments would have to activate the Public Distribution System so as to provide relief to people suffering from soaring prices.

Earlier, BJP senior leader Murali Manohar Joshi blamed the government’s wrong policies and said: “I caution you (government) if our country is dependent on import of foodgrains, then we are keeping the nation’s soverniety at stake.”

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, too, criticised the government’s policies. The price rise had spiralled out of government’s control due to a handful of hoarders and middlemen and also lack of coordination between different ministries, he said, blaming the Centre helping about 100 top rich business families become richer. He asked: “When the Prime Minister is himself a noted economist, then why is he not able to control price rise?”

According to the latest figures, food inflation rose by 15.58 per cent for the week ended November 14, largely owing to
soaring prices of potato, onion and pulses.

Initiating the debate, Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lalan (JD-U) said the government was not interested in checking inflation even though nearly 85 crore people in the country were below the poverty line.