Parliament asks Govt to consider commonman's plight and curb inflation

     The Parliament on Thursday asked the United Progressive Alliance government to take further effective steps to curb inflation for the sake of commonman after the issue was thoroughly discussed for three days in both Houses - Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. A day after Lok Sabha passed a resolution, seeking government action to rein in the spiralling prices, the Rajya Sabha on Thursday approved a similar motion. "This House takes a considered view of inflation and urges the government to take further effective action to contain its (inflation) impact on commonman," the resolution stated. The Government and the Opposition today agreed on the consensus resolution. Ahead of approval of the resolution, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Opposition opted to take the Government to task over the price-rise issue, as it stated that it was insensitive to the suffering of the common people whose real income was getting eroded by inflation. It was highlighted that despite some moderation, food inflation was hovering at 9.53 per cent and the general wholesale price above 10 per cent. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, while listing various measures undertaken by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government to curb inflation, said the price rise was a result of fiscal expansion which followed Rs 1,86,000 crore of stimulus package given in 2009. Appealing for support from all political parties for the proposed Goods and Services Tax, the Finance Minister said inflation must be contained with cooperation from states. In Lok Sabha, on Wednesday, the issue of rising food prices witnessed a lot of heated arguments in parliament and later the House unanimously urging the government to act and listen to the plight of common man. Before the resolution was moved, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj rued that the Finance Minister Mukherjee had not announced any steps to contain the spiralling prices of essential commodities. 'Not a single reform has been announced,' she said. She chided the finance minister for equating growth rate and inflation. Citing government's limitations, Mukherjee said the public must appreciate that certain factors like supply shortfall and hoarding were beyond the central government's control. He appealed the central and state governments needed to act together. On this issue of hike in prices of petroleum products, the Finance Minister said that the perpetual increases in international crude oil price had forced the government to hike the prices of petroleum products. Reducing tax was not a solution. Communist Party of India-Marixist leader Sitaram Yechury said the government's claims of giving highest priority to food prices had not been fulfilled. However, by the end, the debate on price rise concluded in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with the house adopting a resolution, as Speaker Meira Kumar read out the resolution: "This House, having considered the inflationary pressure on the economy, urges the government to take further action to contain its adverse impact on the common man."

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