New Delhi : Taking a dig at the opposition parties, the Congress on Thursday said talking about curtailing inflation is easy but the options that the Opposition may explore “don’t exist for us”. What are these options? The Congress lines up four that it didn’t try and would never try. These are:
l Force the world to bring down crude oil prices.
l Increase fuel subsidies, increase fiscal deficit and risk the India growth story.
l Reduce the Minimum Support Price to farmers and be unfair to them.
l Force the poor not to have milk, eggs, vegetables and meat.
“They blame our policies for driving up food prices. But what are these policies? The Congress-led UPA believes the farmer deserves a fair price. Minimum Support Prices have been increased significantly.” “For us, fair price to farmers leads to rural prosperity, which increases rural demand and strong rural demand leads to strong economic growth,” says the Congress and puts a video of Finance Minister P Chidambaram on its website
On the rising prices of fuel, the party said they are driven by the international crude prices and very little any government in India can do to bring down the international crude prices. The price of crude was around $ 36 per barrel in 2004 and this is around $ 105-110 now.
Taunting the BJP for claiming that the petrol was selling at Rs 35.71 per litre in 2004 when its NDA stepped down, the Congress said its petroleum pricing plan would have pushed the petrol price at the pumps to around Rs 109 per litre and not Rs 73 per litre as of today.
It said when the international crude prices go up, a government can only intervene by sharing the burden by bearing part of the costs.” The Congress-led UPA has done just that. The fuel subsidy bill has grown from Rs 6,351 crore in 2003-04 to a massive Rs 96,880 crore in 2012-13.”