The price of a cooking gas cylinder is above 1000 rupees. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she is also a ‘housewife’. But the price of cooking gas is not in her hands.
Modi’s government is providing free cooking gas connections to the poor. But due to the high price of cylinders, the poor are unable to buy new cylinders once they run out. When the opposition MPs questioned this, the finance minister said in a threatening tone, “The government is subsidizing the cylinders of the poor by 200 rupees. Go to your area and get the subsidies for the cylinders of the poor.” When asked why the subsidy on cylinders for the common man was given away, the finance minister said in an angry voice, “I cannot answer your needs.”
Why is she getting angry when she is asked about the price increase? Nirmala Sitharaman replied, “My speaking style is like that. I can’t sweet talk. Everyone is not made of one substance. We are made of another.” Earlier, when asked about the price of onions, the finance minister said in the parliament that she does not eat onions. On the same question again yesterday, Nirmala said, “Whether I eat onion or not, it is irrelevant. We have kept the price of tomato, onion, and potato under control.”
Nirmala’s take on VAT and GST
After the Lok Sabha, in the discussion on price hikes in the Rajya Sabha as well, the finance minister, when asked about the price of goods during the Modi era, argued that there was a substantial price hike during the UPA government as well. Questioning about GST on food products, she said that before the introduction of GST, VAT was collected on various products at a higher rate than now. Questioning the imposition of GST on paneer from milk, the finance minister claimed that before the introduction of GST in West Bengal, the rate of VAT on paneer was much higher.
The opposition staged a walkout during the Finance Minister’s reply in the Lok Sabha. Trinamool Congress also walked out in the Rajya Sabha after the finance minister drew a comparison between GST and VAT on paneer in West Bengal. Opponents say that GST was introduced instead of VAT because the tax burden will be reduced. Why is the finance minister now comparing GST with VAT? Several BJP MPs in Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha hailed Narendra Modi and claimed that there is no problem with the price hike.
The finance minister, however, said that she is not denying the problem of the price increase. But GST will not increase the burden on households. Congress has informed that whatever the finance minister says, they are going to the streets across the country on Friday over the increase in unemployment rates and price hikes. A meeting of top Congress leaders was also held yesterday in preparation for the protest. On the other hand, standing in Parliament yesterday, Nirmala claimed that the price of Indian currency did not fall abnormally.