On Monday, opposition lawmakers in the Lok Sabha accused the BJP-led central government of disregarding the hardship of ordinary citizens. They blamed its policies for the price increase, warning that if remedial action is not taken, kitchens could soon “witness a lockdown.”
Congressman Manish Tewari started a discussion on the price increase by claiming that the government’s policies had negatively impacted 25 crore homes nationwide and increased the gap between the affluent and the poor.
He said the Union government’s bad policies had destroyed the five economic pillars of savings, investment, output, consumption, and employment.
“The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) pulled 27 crore people out of poverty during its rule. Afterward, it was discovered via a study that was made public in 2021 that up to 23 crore people are once again living in poverty “said he.
The COVID-19 epidemic would have contributed to the present economic disaster. Still, he said the government’s move to demonetize high-value notes on November 8, 2016, had already begun to deteriorate the nation’s economy.
Following the note ban, the government implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which impacted at least 2.30 lakh small businesses. He said that the note ban and the GST affected employment in addition to medium- and small-scale firms.
Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, a member of the Trinamool Congress, said that the Centre was not taking any action to address the price increase and claimed that the continuous price increases of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) had made it impossible for the poor to prepare meals. Does the government advocate for the consumption of raw vegetables? The members looked amused as Kakoli Dastidar spoke while holding up the brinjal she had brought with her and taking a mouthful.
She requested that the government care for the needy and lower taxes on goods used in daily life.
Tewari criticized the administration for raising the GST “You have raised the GST on pencils, sharpeners, paneer, curd, and wheat. Even kids were not spared by you.” The Congressman said that the 18% GST levied on “crematoriums” “hurt” him.
Attacking the government for the increase in gasoline prices, Tewari said that although the center received 27 lakh crore from “tax, excise duty, and dividend” in the petroleum industry to expand its coffers, it did not distribute the advantages to the general public.
He said every housewife in the country is in tears, adding, “The government may have simplified its budget but has entirely wrecked the lives of the country’s 25 crore homes. What type of nation are you building?” According to Sangeeta Azad of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the rising cost of fruits and vegetables has made life harder for the average person.
She said that although prices of everyday goods have increased significantly under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) administration, farmer income has decreased by half.
IUML member ET Mohammed Basheer asserted that “the family budget is crumbling” and that the administration was not sincere about solving the nation’s economic problems.
“The kitchen is in disarray. We had a lockdown during the COVID era, and with this government’s unfavorable attitude, I predict we will now have a lockdown in kitchens “said he.
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leader Nama Nageswara Rao urged the federal government to increase its purchases of foodgrains to safeguard the farmers.
According to him, the cost of living has increased for the poor due to the constant increase in the price of gasoline and everyday goods.
Pinaki Misra, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) member, refuted the claim that rising gasoline and diesel prices were caused by the UPA government’s repayment of oil bonds it had issued.
He said that just 93,600 crores of the 27 lakh crores the Centre received as a tax on gasoline and diesel between 2014 and 2022 were used to pay for bond servicing.
Misra also brought up the problem of a sizable population enunciating their Indian citizenship and urged the government to consider the reasons behind the HNIs’ departure.
He questioned, “Are the CBDT, the CBI, and the ED making it difficult for wealth creators?
Supriya Sule (NCP) expressed sadness over the increase in GST on several basic food products, saying it has burdened the underprivileged.
She also insisted that the government provide a white paper outlining its plan to double farmers’ incomes.
According to Bharat Ram Margani (YSRCP), the government should emphasize alternative fuel sources since the dependency on imported fossil fuels depletes the nation’s foreign exchange reserves.
He also encouraged the government to adjust the minimum support prices for agricultural products to keep up with inflation.
The administration previously used the COVID-19 epidemic as the cause of the price increase, according to Kalyan Banerjee (TMC). Still, this time it is using the Russia-Ukraine conflict as an excuse.
He urged that the GST that was imposed last month be reversed.
Regarding transaction costs, Banerjee said that banks are raising prices for several services to promote digital transactions.
He questioned, “Is the bank the actual winner from internet banking, or are the customers?”
However, Kaushlendra Kumar of the JD(U), a member of the NDA, said that the measures implemented by the Modi administration, particularly during the COVID time, had pleased villagers.
Days of Parliamentary business have been halted by opposition parties’ demands for a discussion of the price increase.