People from all spheres of walk feel heat from the inferno of price spike. Vegetables, onion, milk, petrol, fridges, washing machine, soaps, insect repellents, property—you name it and prices are northward. Food inflation has jumped up to nearly a year’s high of 18.32 percent. The wholesale food inflation jacked up by 3.88 percentage points from 14.44 percent. A huge increase of over 82 percent in onion prices and 58.85 percent in vegetables raised food inflation. The data per se speaks overtly how the situation is looking grievous. The spiraling price has swelled the home budget and burnt deep hole in the pockets of common people, which has robbed of platters of middle class and made basic food items out of reach. The salaried class is squirming to make both ends meet. Given the inflationary pressure, the RBI may further raise the policy interest rates, prompting banks to increase the cost of borrowings, which may be a double whammy for the middle class paying monthly installments on different types of personal loans.
As thing stands critically, the statement of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister twice, appeared indifferent by raising doubts whether prices can be reined in as the ruling dispensation seems to have not enough tools to wrench the increasing inflation. Chief economic advisor in the Finance Ministry also reiterated that rise in inflation is expected and the government has its limitation to control the price spiral. The moot point is that if the government itself does not know how to control prices, how can one expect breather from the pinching pocket?
If the Central government did not have measures to bridle the increasing prices, as it is seconded by Chidambaram, why did the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and his ilk earlier give false assurance that the prices would be plummeted soon. It is shear outrageous that a sort of deception on such a grave issue, affecting every strata of society, was played by the destiny makers of the country. The nation wants to know, why the leaders are playing with the emotion of common people who are badly battered with the string of scams and scandals.
Chidambaram is now Home Minister, but he is known as great economist so his statement on the price hike has created flutters and people seem to be more annoyed and agitated. Inflation, particularly food prices, has wreaked havoc earlier too, but the statement from the government’s side that the prices being uncontrollable has come first time after the independence. If Chidambaram is right, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies proves good for nothing as it indicates that they do not have any agenda of developing agriculture nor have proper arrangement of food storage.