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Jaitley puts price rise blame on Manmohan govt

Jaitley puts price rise blame on Manmohan govt
The government has said prices of food items were under control and there was no need to press the panic button. Replying to a short-duration discussion on inflation on the opening day of the Budget session after the opposition pressed for it, finance minister Arun Jaitley put the blame for the current situation on food prices as also the recent hike in railway passenger fares and freight and diesel prices on the previous UPA government, saying it had inherited a ‘legacy’ from it.

The opposition, including the Congress, the BSP, the SP and the Trinamool Congress, on the other hand, ridiculed the government and the NDA’s poll slogan of ‘achhe din’ (good days), wondering whether it was reflected by the rise in prices of food items like onion and potato and hike in rail fares and diesel cost.

In the course of his reply, Jaitley said the 41-day-old Narendra Modi government had taken immediate steps to contain prices of food items unlike the previous dispensation during which cost of onion rose even up to Rs 100 per kilo. He said the government was being attacked even though it was yet to outline its financial roadmap in the rail budget to be presented on Tuesday and the general budget on Thursday.

Members of the opposition, including the Congress, the BSP, the Trinamool Congress and the CPI (M), staged a walkout, expressing dissatisfaction over Jaitley’s reply. ‘Government is committed to contain it (inflation) because we consider it a serious and sensitive matter. There is sufficient supply (of potato and onion) and therefore there is no reason for panic,’ the finance minister said. Jaitley said that food and consumer affairs department would continue to take steps to contain the rise in price of onion and potato and noted that the output of these two essential kitchen items have increased.

Food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said strict action would be taken against hoarders and middlemen as they are responsible for price rise.
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