Congress questions Centre over rise in food prices

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) The Congress on Friday said the ever-increasing prices of essential commodities during the NDA rule have made life difficult for the common man, and sought to know from the government if people had a right to food and nutrition?

“Today (Friday) is World Food Day and the Indian National Congress on behalf of the people of India, wants to ask the prime minister and the BJP if Indians have a right to food and nutrition,” Congress spokesperson Rita Bahuguna Joshi said in a press conference here.

“Going by the actions and inactions of this government, it is apparent that the common man can’t survive this government,” she said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections last year, had promised a “yellow revolution” in India – a protein revolution.

“Modi’s emphasis on focusing on growing protein-rich pulses has become nothing but another unfulfilled promise. Modi, it seems, has brought that protein revolution in the country – not by making pulses available to the people but by snatching even a serving of it from the plates of the people of this country,” she said.

In July last year, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed a technology-driven second green revolution that would focus on higher productivity, including a protein revolution.

“Fourteen months have passed, but the finance minister’s promise of a ‘protein revolution’ has become a distant dream,” the Congress leader said.

“…The utter apathy of the Bharatiya Janata Party in controlling the prices of pulses and other essential commodities has been exposed by the finance minister’s statement that India now needs to import more to create a buffer stock for consumption,” Joshi added.

The government was “sleeping” when the dal prices rose, she charged.

“In March the crop estimate report showed huge decline in dal production but they waited till June to act. Shortfall was around 15 lakh tonnes but imports were much lower. Prices of Arhar Dal have crossed Rs.200. Production has come down but prices clearly indicate that there is black-marketing,” she said.

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