The Congress party on Tuesday slammed the central government and stated that India is on the cusp of unprecedented food price inflation, but the Prime Minister is silent.
"Inflation and unemployment are the bane of the country today. Retail inflation has surged to an all time high surpassing even the 2013 level. In last nine months, inflation is going up rapidly every month but the Prime Minister is silent," Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala told media here.
"In July 2019, it was 3.15 per cent, in August 3.28 per cent, in September 4 per cent, in October 2019 4.62 per cent, in November 2019 5.54 per cent, in December 7.35 per cent and it is now touching 8 per cent. The vegetable prices have gone up by 60 per cent, pulses prices have gone up by over 15.5 per cent, food and beverages are more expensive by 12.5 per cent, meat and fish have gone up by 10 per cent and spices prices have gone up by 6 per cent but where is the Prime Minister?" Surjewala stated.
Onions are being sold today at Rs 85 per kg compared to Rs 8 per kg in 2014, Surjewala stated.
"Tomato is selling at Rs 39 a kg, potato is selling at Rs 29 a kg, cauliflower is selling at Rs 58 a kg and Lehsun is selling at Rs 290 a kg and one egg cost Rs 6 but the Prime Minister is missing in action. There are 16 lakh jobless as per RBI's report. Government is now admitting that even government jobs are going to be cut. Retail inflation, food inflation, pulses inflation, cooking oil inflation, wheat and rice prices inflation, sugar and milk prices inflation is eating into the budget of the common person," Surjewala said.
"Is Prime Minister concerned about millions and millions of household who have now to cut down on their daily food budget, have to cut down on their daily nutrition budget? India is on the cusp of an unprecedented food price inflation but the Prime Minister is absolutely silent," he added.Surjewala stated that the Congress party demands the that Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes forward, calls a meeting of all opposition leaders and lays down the road map for the next 15 days or 30 days as to how prices of cooking oil, prices of vegetables, prices of food and beverages, prices of pulses, prices of spices, all of these are going to be brought down.
"If that does not happen, India's nutrition as also food value, both are under a dire threat," he said.
"We sincerely hope that Prime Minister who came to power saying that he is going to attack inflation is the same Prime Minister today who is remaining on a 'Maun Vrat' on the unprecedented inflation that plagues the food budget of the common household," he added.
The annual rate of inflation based on monthly wholesale price index (WPI) stood at 2.59 per cent in December as against 0.58 per cent in November due to increase in prices of food articles, data released by the government on Tuesday showed.
Wholesale prices based inflation was recorded at 3.46 per cent in December 2018, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
A day earlier, data showed that consumer price index (CPI) based retail inflation jumped to a five-year high of 7.35 per cent in December due to costlier food products like vegetables, pulses and protein-rich items.That breached the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent, quashing hopes for another cut in key interest rates during the February meeting.
( With inputs from ANI )