Even as food price hikes broke one record after another, the Modi government yesterday claimed that food prices have not increased at an ‘abnormal’ rate. The price increase is to be expected. If the price of rice and wheat increases further, the question arises of whether the government has enough food grains to release the cheap rice in the market. The Union Ministry of Food, Consumer Protection, and Mass Distribution, however, claimed yesterday that the government has sufficient food grains in its warehouse. The government will intervene only if necessary.
Statement from secretary
But Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary of the Ministry of Food, Consumer Protection, and Public Distribution, did not want to say when the government will intervene. He said, “Food prices have not skyrocketed. When the government sees prices rising at an abnormal rate, it will intervene.” But he did not want to give a specific answer as to when the government would consider price hikes ‘abnormal’. According to him, the government will decide on this matter.
In September, the rate of price growth in the retail market reached 7.4 percent. This is the highest rate of inflation since April. Among them, rising food prices have become a cause of concern for the poor middle class. Food price inflation rose to 8.6% in September ahead of the festive season. Food prices have not increased so much in the last twenty-two months. Among them, the price of food grains like rice and wheat increased by 11.5 percent. After 2013, the price of food grains has not increased so much.
Increase of crops’ MSP
Pandey claimed that despite this information being in front of the central government, “The MSP of the crop was increased. The farmers benefited. As a result of the increase in the price of oil in the world market, the cost of transportation has increased in this country. Looking at everything, it can be said that the price increase is not unusual at all.” He argued that the central government had rushed exports to keep wheat prices within reach. Otherwise, the price of wheat would have increased in the country’s market.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “What more can be expected from the government than the finance minister of the government said while explaining the fall in the rate of rupees, the rate of rupees is not falling, the rate of the dollar is increasing? BJP is busy making cartoons about Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. In reality, the Modi government has made the people of the country into cartoons.”
As a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the supply of wheat has become tight throughout the whole world. India has to help Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and African countries with wheat despite the rush to export wheat. Meanwhile, wheat production has suffered due to crop failure. In the meantime, the question has been raised whether there are enough food grains in the warehouse of the central government. Because the official data says that the amount of wheat in FCI’s warehouse is the lowest in 6 years.