One major area of failure of the Union government as well as the BJP-led State governments is the control of prices of essential commodities. There is a clear lack of effort on the part of the government even to do anything about controlling prices despite the fall in global prices of crude oil. Since transport costs constitute a major component of the ultimate cost of any commodity, there should have been a corresponding decline in prices. This has not happened. On the contrary, wholesale inflation has risen by 1.62 per cent and retail inflation is soon likely to cross the six per cent mark. While admitting that inflation is a universal phenomenon, there are not many countries that take steep rises in prices against the backdrop of lower diesel prices so nonchalantly. Countries like Switzerland evince concern even over a retail inflation of two per cent. And some of the increases in prices in India cannot but be a cause of alarm. The most significant perhaps has been the prices of pulses during the last two years with the NDA government frequently talking about importing pulses to reduce prices but failing to do anything about it. And take the price of the humble but indispensible potato that has increased by 64.48 per cent over last year’s price. There is very little to justify such steep hikes in prices. If things continue at this pace, people can hardly be blamed for claiming that the government of the day is more concerned about the welfare of traders than it is about the hardships of the common man.
No Control of Inflation