New Delhi, Sep 18 (ANI): Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Wednesday criticized Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal over his callous remark pertaining to the rise in the price of onions, and said the Congress-led UPA II Government has completely failed to manage the economy.
"Mr. Kapil Sibal says that the government is not selling onions. Who is responsible for the hike in the price of onions? (Who is responsible) for the hike in the prices of all essential commodities? (Who is responsible) for the high inflation in the country? The Congress-led UPA II Government has completely failed to manage the economy," he said.
Raja further said the UPA Government has failed to contain inflation and control the prices.
"If Mr. Kapil Sibal thinks that the government has no responsibility then what for they are in government, what for the Congress Party is in government, what for they have the mandate of the people. So, Mr. Kapil Sibal and the senior ministers in the government should do some serious introspection," he added.
Sibal earlier in the day put the blame on the vendors and traders for the rise in onion prices.
"Ask the vendors and traders to purchase it at lower prices and sell it at lower prices. Does the Government sell onions? Ask the vendors and traders, not us," he said.
Food Minister K.V. Thomas today said the that the inflation tends to fluctuate despite it touching a six-month high, and added that the country has come a long way as the purchasing power of the consumers has increased.
Thomas said that in the past the country used to import food items, while currently it is producing surplus food grains.
"Sometimes it goes up; sometimes it comes down so this is a phenomenon which occurs in our Indian economy. And in the case of foods and vegetables, we can improve the situation if we got a better cost oriented chain. That is what the government is trying to implement through various schemes including the foreign direct investment in the country," he said.
Thomas further said that strict action would be taken against the hoarders and the state governments have to take adequate steps to curb such malpractices.
"Hoarding is something which the states have to intervene because the Essential Commodities Act has been implemented by the state government. And we have been in constant touch with the state governments so that they take effective actions," Thomas said.
"Some states are doing well, some states are lagging behind but still we are in constant touch with the state governments to implement the essential commodities act. If there is hoarding take strict action," he added.
According to certain media reports, the Centre has directed all state governments to take action against traders and speculators keeping onion prices artificially high by taking advantage of the seasonal shortage.
The prices of onion both in wholesale and retail markets in most parts of the country have seen a sharp increase since July. In the national capital, the retail prices of onion are ruling as high as Rs. 80 per kg on short supply from key growing states. (ANI)