Opposition members in Lok Sabha on Monday blamed the BJP-led central government’s policies for the price hike, accusing it of ignoring the plight of ordinary people, saying kitchens will soon “see a lockdown” if the center does not take corrective action.
Congressman Manish Tewari launched a debate on the issue of the price hike, saying the government’s decisions have hit 25 crore households in the country hard and widened the gap between rich and poor.
He claimed that savings, investment, production, consumption and employment, the five pillars of the economy, have been blown away as a result of the wrong policies of the Union government.
“During the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, 27 crore people were brought above the poverty line. Then a report, made public in 2021, learned that as many as 23 crore people are once again below the poverty line,” he said. .
The situations arising from the COVID-19 pandemic would be a factor leading to the current economic scenario, but the country’s economy had already started to weaken with the government’s decision to save money on high-quality products on November 8, 2016. banknotes.
Following the ban on the notes, the government implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which affected at least 2.30 lakh small industries. “This ban on banknotes and GST not only affected medium and small industries, but also employment,” he said.
Trinamool Congress member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar claimed that the center did not take any steps to deal with the price hike and said the frequent rise in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices has made it difficult for poor people to access food. to cook. “Does the government want people to eat raw vegetables?” said Kakoli Dastidar, lifting an eggplant she had brought and taking a bite, leaving the members visibly amused.
She asked the government to care for the poor and lower taxes on common consumer goods.
Tewari slammed the government over the GST hike, saying, “You’ve raised the GST for flour, curd, paneer, pencil and sharpener. You haven’t even spared children.” The Congress leader said he was “hurt” when 18 percent GST was imposed on “crematoria.”
Tewari spoke to the government about the rise in fuel prices and said the center collected Rs 27 lakh crore through “taxes, excise duties and dividends” in the petroleum sector to replenish the treasury but did not pass on the benefits to the people.
“The government may have streamlined its own budget, but it has completely ruined the lives of the 25 crore households in the country… every housewife is in tears,” he said, asking the government, “What kind of nation are you building? ?” Sangeeta Azad of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) said that the prices of fruits and vegetables have risen, adding to the hardship of the common man.
She claimed that during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, farmers’ incomes have halved, while the prices of common consumer goods have risen several times.
“The family budget is collapsing,” said IUML member ET Mohammed Basheer, claiming the government was not serious in addressing the economic challenges facing the country.
“The kitchen is in turmoil. We had a lockdown during the COVID period, I fear we will now close kitchens due to the negative attitude of this government,” he said.
Nama Nageswara Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) demanded that the center protect farmers by purchasing more food grains.
He said the cost of living for the poor has risen with a constant rise in the prices of common use items and fuel.
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) member Pinaki Misra rejected claims that the repayment of oil bonds issued by the UPA government was responsible for rising gasoline and diesel prices.
He said the center collected Rs 27 lakh crore as tax on petrol and diesel between 2014 and 2022, of which only Rs 93,600 crore was spent on the maintenance of the bonds.
Misra also raised the issue of a large number of people who had left Indian citizenship and wanted the government to introspect why high net worth individuals (HNIs) left the country.
“Are the CBDT, the CBI, and the ED making life difficult for wealth creators?” he said.
Supriya Sule (NCP) expressed regret at the rise in GST on some essential foods and said it has been a burden to poor people.
She also demanded that the government issue a white paper on its pledge to double farmers’ incomes.
Bharat Ram Margani (YSRCP) said the government should focus more on alternative fuel sources as reliance on fossil fuel imports deprives the country of foreign exchange.
He also urged the government to review minimum support prices for agricultural products to keep pace with inflation.
Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) said last time the government blamed the COVID-19 outbreak for the price hike and this time its alibi is the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Last month, he demanded a reversal of the GST levy.
As for transaction fees, Banerjee said banks are increasing fees for various services in the name of promoting digital transactions.
“Who is the real beneficiary of online banking – bank or customers?” he wondered.
However, Kaushlendra Kumar of the JD(U), an NDA voter, said the people in the villages were very happy with the Modi government’s initiatives, especially during the COVID period.
Opposition parties had stalled the parliamentary procedure for days and demanded a debate on the price hike.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)