Special Congress Party briefing by Congress leaders P Chidambaram and RS Surjewala vis INC India:
The govt has continued to pretend that the concern about price rise is a false concern and, if they ignore the issue, the issue will go away.
The Congress party condemns the callous negligence of the government on the issue of price rise The govt & RBI have set an inflation target: 4 +/- 2%.
CPI has breached the upper limit of 6% & is now, 6.26%. Urban CPI has spurted from 5.91% in May to 6.37% in June. Core inflation has moved up in a month from 5.5%t to 5.8%.
Food inflation is at 5.58%
Pulses inflation is at 10.01%
Fruits inflation is at 11.82%
Transport inflation is at 11.56%
Fuel & Light inflation is at 12.68%
Oils & Fats inflation is at 34.78%
Will the government please tell the people what they should eat, how they should light their homes and how they should go to work?
The pandemic has resulted in jobs being axed, unemployment rising to 8.1% & incomes being cut. In such a situation of widespread distress, inflation has broken the back of the people.
We hold Central govt under PM Modi directly responsible This inflation has not been caused by excess liquidity or too much money in the hands of the people. This inflation has been caused by the wrong policies of the government and its inept management of the economy
Despite stout opposition, the govt has continually increased the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG. Prices cannot be justified by the price of crude oil which is around USD 75 a barrel.
When crude oil price was $125, the UPA provided petrol at Rs 65 & diesel at Rs 44. The sole reason for the exorbitant prices is the levy of cesses by the govt. Total cesses levied by the central govt on petrol & diesel are Rs 33 & Rs 32.
Through these cesses alone the central government collects approximately Rs 4.2 lakh crore every year and keeps all that money to itself.
This is exploitation and greed of the worst kind Govt has increased the import duties on a wide range of goods. Despite a downward trend in the value of the ₹, these increased duties remain.
The result is higher prices on a large number of intermediary goods as well as essential goods
Govt continues with multiple rates of GST as well as high rates of 12% or 18% on an array of items. GST is an indirect tax & by definition a regressive tax.
High rates have the tendency to push up the prices of the final goods & services.
The Congress party demands that the central government should immediately reduce, substantially, the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG
We demand that import duties be reviewed and re-set so that prices of essential imported goods are cheaper
We also demand that GST rates be reduced on an array of goods that are mass-consumed by the people. We are convinced that these steps alone will bring relief to the people from the crushing burden of high inflation
I may add that the Congress party will raise the issue of high inflation in the forthcoming session of Parliament and demand a full discussion on the subject as well as substantial relief for the people of India.