During yesterday’s Lok Sabha debate, Ms. Sitharaman cited the pandemic and the subsequent war in Russia as the primary reasons for the price hikes.
Ankur Chatterjee: Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister, when the issue of price rises started being debated in the Rajya Sabha, said, “India macroeconomic fundamentals are rooted in strength.”
She went ahead and debunked the opposition’s claim that the government was ignorant about price rises. “We are not saying there is no inflation… We are at 7 percent (inflation rate) now because of some effort by the Reserve Bank of India and the government,” she said.
During the finance minister’s speech, the Trinamool Congress staged a walkout. According to Dola Sen, a party MP, Ms. Sitharaman made an unnecessary allusion to West Bengal, accusing it of levying GST on paneer. When party MP Derek O’Brien requested a Point of Order, it was denied.
“We walk out in protest. You don’t want to give us a chance to speak,” said Mr. O” Brien.
Many opposition parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have accused the government of unaccountability on the issue of inflation. Since then they have constantly been appealing the Modi administration to look closely at the fate of the poor due to rising prices and find some remedy to combat it. However, the BJP, reacted to these demands citing global development fallout as the major reason behind inflation and that the government can’t control that.
Former Union minister, Prakash Javadekar too addressed the issue of rising prices of essential items in a short-duration discussion. He agreed that rising prices of essential items hurt every citizen and the Centre is vigilantly looking at bringing an end to it.
Ms. Sitharaman made an argument in the Lok Sabha yesterday citing the Covid pandemic and the subsequent Russia-Ukraine tensions as primary reasons behind such hikes in food and fuel prices. “The supply chain has been massively hit due to the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine tensions. This is definitely not in the control of any country. Not only in India, but prices have also risen in other countries too,” she said. She further stressed on the fact that inflation is at 7 percent and it hasn’t yet reached the double-digit mark as it did during the UPA governance.
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