New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is under pressure as inflation figures have touched a 5-month high. While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley blames hoarding for the food inflation, BJP leader Sidarth Nath Singh has said that there is no instant remedy even as the government is working to control it.
"There is no immediate prescription like instant Maggi noodles by which inflation can be brought down. We're working towards it and the Budget is yet to be presented to the nation," Singh said.
The opposition parties, however, are already attacking the Modi government. "I think the dream that they showed to the people of this country, is being shattered. The PM had challenged us on growth. We are ready and we had given them 6 months time. We will wait till then," Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said.
Costlier potato and cereals pushed up May inflation to five-month high level of 6.01 per cent, prompting the Centre to ask the states to take effective steps against speculative hoarding in the wake of weak monsoon fears. Experts apprehend the likelihood of poor monsoon coupled with rising oil prices on the back of political tension in Iraq, may further aggravate the domestic scenario.
The rise in inflation has been mainly due to 31.44 per cent increase in prices of potato, 19.40 per cent in fruits and 12.75 per cent in rice, according to the official data on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation. The food inflation stood at 9.50 per cent last month, while the manufactured inflation was 3.55 per cent.
"The Government is seized of the matter and is committed to ease supply side constraints. The rise in prices of food articles can also be attributed to withholding of stocks on account of apprehension of a weak monsoon," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while commenting on the inflation data. He also said the state governments should take effective steps to ensure that hoarding is discouraged.
(With additional information from PTI)