Himachal Congress Asks Government About Steps Taken To Reign In Prices

Shimla: The congress today took the BJP government to task from playing politics upon the miseries of the common man saying that rising prices of essential commodities had been triggered by rising global crude oil prices and the UPA government was deeply concerned about its impact on the people.

Congress spokesman Kuldeep Rathore, that coping with rising food prices was not a local issue but had become a global one and was threatening many economies internationally.

However, he asked the BJP government to spell out what steps it had taken to contain prices. Rathore said, the government has even refused to reduce state taxes on petro products and at the same time making claims about having taken effective steps to control price rise.

By harping on holding the UPA government responsible for the problem, the state government was diverting attention to draw electoral benefits, said Rathore.

The congress would submit memorandums in all the districts about rising prices and if no action is taken, the party would intensify its protest.

He said that the recent BJP working committee meeting at Manali was nothing more than a picnic, in which state machinery was grossly misused. Other that patting each other back and criticizing the congress, there was not outcome from the exercise, said Rathore.

Blaming the government for laxity in maintaining law and order, the congress spokesman said that despite a forewarning enough steps were not taken to contain the violence that erupted in fair at Solan.

The congress supported the PTA teachers agitation for they had rendered valuable services at a time when there was gross shortage of staff in many schools, he said.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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5 Comments

  1. says: Vineet Vaidya

    American Real Estate is down…and is declining further, FIIs are withdrawing money from India, Indian IT Industry is being Hit because US recession brings a backlash in India, Crude oil prices are rising because of sanctions on Iraq and strike in Nigeria……

    Well, is India the only country in the world where inflation has hit so hard?

    Not really, almost the entire Globe has been hit…..US contributes 25% of the Global GDP…the ripples of recession there affect the entire world…….

    If the trends are to be seen properly, it looks like there is going to be a further hike in prices of petrol…after the General Elections in the country……

    Also, the other side is that as salaries increase ….(a common man is very happy), it brings with it…more money in supply…for the same capacity of goods….so anyone who knows economics till class XII can identify the populist measures.

    Am not sure which Govt to blame…or actually even to blame. I think the objective at present should be look futuristically and try seeing how we assuage ourselves from this situation.

    Aviation, tourism all lifestyle related industries have been hit…..Himachal Govt should look at getting Power generation in order…an investment in power sector today would bring in Huge revenues later.

  2. says: Ravinder Makhaik

    Vineet, you have put the issue of price rise in context.

    ‘Kettle calling the pot black’ policy may befool the people but it does not provide a solution to the problem.

    Thrift and optimum use of available resources are need of the hour.

    Market forces of demand and supply will govern oil and food prices.

    Speculators and hoarders will look out for opportunities to make profits out of human misery.

    The state government needs to look out for cutting expenditures.

    Downsizing of the government itself will make more resources available for improving services to the people.

    So long as salaries, pensions and debt servicing remain the largest component of the state budget, the rural people will only get fringe benefits from a government that is held to ransom by powerful lobbies bent upon protecting their limited interests.

  3. says: NITYIN

    Market forces of demand and supply will govern oil and food prices. Speculators and hoarders will look out for opportunities to make profits out of human misery.

    My two annas for this logic!

    I thought we elected our govt to protect from all these speculators and hoarders. Simply blaming it on market forces would be the easy way out. No one is asking the govt to dole out freebeis. But it can definately ease out the burden. That is what governance is all about. For example, why can’t the state govt lower the taxes on petrol when the Akalis in Punjab and the Congress in Haryana have done the same. Extra ordinary times demand extra ordinary measures.

    Speculators and hoarders are terms coined to hide the govt’s in-efficiancy. Money is abstract, you cannot eat it and the control of money is an illusion of power. Ultimately, whoever controls food would control the world.

    Food for thought on Globalisation

  4. Lowering state taxes maybe a valid argument in trying to contain the price of petro products but compared to over rise in international crude prices, it only has a marginal impact.

    None the less it does add salt to injury.

    Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal was quizzed on the issue, but he maintains that Himachal is already charging lower sale taxes on the commodity than Punjab and Haryana.

    I bank upon the net users to verify whether that is correct information or not.

    ‘Speculation and hoarding’ does appear a offensive term from a consumer point of view when affordability of goods and food is getting out of hand.

    For a businessman it is time to make profits.

    (Human misery or not, does not apply where market forces work by the survival of the fittest theory. That’s why thrift and saving for the rainy day is still the best policy to live thorough hard times.)

    OPEC, the oil cartel has refused to raise oil production to contain runaway prices. (For them it is time to make big profits.)

    Indian finance minister P Chidambaram has opined that it is speculation in the global oil market that driven up prices to record levels.

    Others say that the American decision to make bio-fuel from surplus corn is responsible for the global food crisis.

    Whatever be the reason – there is a connect between oil and food prices.

    The Indian government after it could not absorb anymore subsidies was left with no option but to hike the petro product prices, hoping it will douse demand. The Chinese government also raised prices of this commodity recently by as much as 25 % recently.

    We remain an underdeveloped economy with an abundance of human resource available.

    The central government claims that there is no shortage of essential commodities, and we are self sufficient in food grains and the nation is safe as far as food security is concerned.

    But with the prices just moving in one direction and inflation touching over 11%, the interest regime in banks has turned negative.

    Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.

    You may have the food but to distribute it so as to feed the over 1 billion people, without killing the farmer, is a logistic nightmare.

    Caught up with this reality is Himachal Pradesh, a food deficient state.

    Be it Congress or the BJP, being able to provide each family with enough affordable food is a challenge that any welfare state will have to live upto.

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