FM hints at more steps to curb inflation
Taking the BJP head on, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said the opposition party had nothing to contribute for moderating inflation and hinted that the government may take more measures to curb rising prices.
"I regret to point out that the (BJP's) resolution is an exercise in self-deception and is aimed at spreading disinformation," he said in a statement referring to the resolution adopted by the opposition party's National Executive that sought the UPA government's resignation.
As inflation for the week ended May 24 rose to 8.24 per cent, he admitted that "we have not overcome all our problems ... We admit inflation is a problem...". He added that the government was yet to hear any "concrete suggestions" from the BJP-NDA to moderate the rate of price rise.
"We are willing to take more measures (to check inflation)," Chidambaram said, adding "the UPA government is confident that it will, with the understanding and support of the people, overcome the current difficulties."
The BJP had described UPA Government's decision to hike fuel prices as an "economic terror" unleashed on the people. Chidambaram said the UPA government did not enjoy benign global crude oil prices, as did the NDA regime.
Giving out inflation figures under the NDA regime, he said, "In 2000-01, in 48 out of 52 weeks the WPI was over 6 per cent; in 22 of those weeks it was over 7 per cent; and in 12 of those weeks, it was over 8 per cent. These are facts that cannot be wished away".
Countering the claims made by the BJP that it inherited a bankrupt economy and left behind a strong economy, Chidambaram said the NDA government did not have the vision or the compassion, or the fiscal space or the financial resources, to undertake schemes and programmes to directly benefit the poor and make growth inclusive.