Govt slams US for food crisis blame
Government on Wednesday rejected the US contention that the rising global food prices were because of changing food habits in India, saying the country does not import food.
Finance Secretary Subba Rao said food security is a "concern" both at the national and international level and that food prices in India are lower than global prices.
"In my view it is wrong to blame India and China for the rising prices of food items globally... India and China have never imported foods," he said at a function organised here to announce a grant for India under Britain's Department For International Development (DFID) programme.
He was commenting on US contention that the increase in global food prices was due to rising consumption in India and China.
"I cannot believe that Indians and Chinese have contributed to the global food concerns. Just three months ago we were proud in saying that India is a food security country and it is the case even today," Rao said.
Rao said there is no reason why India and China could become a cause for the global crisis and attributed the price rise to the "shift in production of food to production of fuel".
Rao said the time has come to insulate India from the global inflationary prices and admitted that the food consumption in India and China have increased.
"India has very much improved in food security and our food output estimate is 227 million. Our short-term food output is comfortable," Rao said.