The issue of price rise and inflation has been giving corporate retailers a run for their money. In addition to their incurring losses, they are now being cited as among the reasons for inflation.
Citing reasons for the present inflation, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, in a press conference, said: “Farmers are given the freedom to sell their produce at higher rates to corporate traders. As a result, the government does not have ample stock of products. Ultimately, consumers have to make their purchases at a higher cost.”
The Communist Party of India’s (CPI) Member of Parliament Aziz Pasha criticised the government’s decision to open up retail trade to corporate sector. “Steps should be taken to strengthen the public distribution system to ensure poor and middle classes are not burdened on account of price rise. These sections are the most affected due to the rising prices,” he said.
The United Progressive Alliance- (UPA)- led central government is having a hard time battling the current inflation. The CPI has threatened to take up ‘de-hoarding’ drive to unearth essential commodities ‘illegally’ stocked in godowns, if the ministry fails to check price rise.
Meanwhile, leaders and activists of the party’s Andhra Pradesh wing, led by the state secretary K Narayana, staged a demonstration in front of a Reliance Fresh outlet in Hyderabad on Sunday in protest against the price rise.
Speaking to the media, Narayana criticised the central and state governments for their failure to control the rising prices.
Sounding a note of assurance, Pawar said: “The UPA will do all it can to contain the food grains price rise, including buying stocks from the domestic and international market and providing it to the poor at affordable rates.”