BJP criticises UPA for failing to check price rise

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New Delhi, Apr. 01 : The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday staged a demonstration in the national capital New Delhi against the rulingongress led United Progressive Alliance for its inability to check the prices of essential commodities.

High inflation has returned to haunt India, as it has zoomed to a 13-month high of 6.68 percent, doubling in just a few months.

The UPA Government under pressure to check prices ahead of elections on Monday took fresh steps to stem inflation.

"Government is doing nothing. Top finance wizards Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram and Montek Singh Ahluwalia are handling the Finance Ministry, but prices are still soaring. People are now reminded of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's rule when prices were under control," said Vijay Goel, senior BJP leader.

"Now there is shortage in supply of water, electricity and prices of fruits, vegetables, oil, gas have increased so much that the budget of the common man has gone haywire," he added.

The government has scrapped import duties on edible oils, banned exports of non-basmati rice, cut duties on maize imports to zero from 15 percent and extended a ban on export of pulses for a year.

In recent weeks the Government also banned exports of edible oils and scrapped tax refund schemes for steel and cement exports.

Analysts expect that the central bank, which wants to limit wholesale inflation to around five percent, to follow with its own measures to rein in inflation. But they say monetary policy can do little to address what is essentially supply-led inflation stemming from rising global food and oil prices.

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