New Delhi, Feb 25: Alleging that the government has run out of ideas in controlling the price rise, BJP on Thursday said that prices are competing with cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said that the government was looking for alibis to cover up for its failure, as it is now left without any ideas to curb price rise.
"Has this government run out of ideas on how to control prices. Obviously it has. The government is only looking for alibis," Jaitley said while initiating a short duration discussion on the subject in the Rajya Sabha
"Could the government not anticipate the supply-side shortfall," he wondered, adding: "Today, we are facing a situation where the government's inability to control inflation has become an indirect tax on the consumer."
On a lighter note, the opposition leader compared the rising price rise to the Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's 200 unbeaten runs against South Africa on Wednesday, Feb 24.
"Dal prices are competing with Sachin Tendulkar," he said.
He advised the government to act fast before it is too late.
"The single largest failure of the government is the mismanagement of food prices. The government must act, otherwise it must perish because the average citizen is being driven to the wall," Jaitley maintained.
Jaitley slammed the government's argument that drought-induced production shortfall had caused the price rise of essential commodities.
"We faced a similar situation (when a BJP-led coalition was in power) in 2002 when there was a production shortfall of 40 million tonnes. We offloaded enough stocks to prevent a price rise. This time, the shortfall is only 18 million tonnes. The government says it has enough stocks. Why were these not released in the market?"
Chiding the government's attempt to shift the blame to the state governments, Jaitley said that most of the hoarding have been done in the states ruled by UPA.
"Eighty-three percent of the raids that have been conducted to prevent hoarding (of essential commodities) have been in non-UPA (United Progressive Alliance) states. Only 17 percent of the raids have been conducted in states where the UPA is in power," Jaitley maintained.
He said that single price index was necessary to give a clear picture of inflation.
"We have a wholesale price index and a consumer price index and there is a glaring mismatch between the two. We need a single price index to give a true picture of where inflation truly stands," he contended.
Jaitley's 40-minute speech was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who left the house soon after it ended.