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Why no attempt to unearth black money, wonders Singh

Written by: Staff

Ahmedabad, Mar 4 (UNI) BJP President Rajnath Singh today expressed surpise as to why no attempt has been made in the UPA Government's Budget to unearth the black money estimated at Rs 100,000 crore or to contain inflation.

Reacting to Finance Minister P Chidambaram's budget, he said the twin issues continued to dog the country's economy, whenever the Congress or Congress-led Government has been in power. He wondered if some independent research organisation could throw more light on this phenomenon.

The BJP leader said prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas are sure to rise, adding fuel to inflation, after the budget session is over. The Finance Minister too admitted it has gone up to 4.7 per cent.

On a two-day visit to Gujarat after becoming the party chief, Mr Singh said that although the Congress claims that its hand (election symbol) is with the common man, it appears to be with Quattrocchis.

It is reflected in Mr Chidamabaram's concessions to Italian pasta, along with 'idli', to cater to the palate of the Congress president, with concern for the Indian 'roti' or Gujarati 'dhokla'.

Referring to the Volcker report on 'manipulation of oil-for-food programme', the BJP leader said, it portends ominous for the future when rulers become traders.

He was also critical of the UPA Government's inept handling of the country's food security policy. ''While the NDA Government had built a buffer stock of 600 lakh tonnes of wheat in 2002, offering the farmers remunerative prices, the UPA Government has pushed India back to wheat importing days,'' he alleged.

Mr Singh said the UPA government's move to allow upto 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail sector was a matter of great concern for the smaller traders.

He said the government is also silent on labour policy, farm subsidy and farm income insurance scheme (different from crop insurance), apparently under pressure from its Leftist partners and impending elections in five states.

India an not sustain double digit growth in economy for long, without four per cent growth in the agriculture sector, which still hovers around 2.5 per cent, he said.


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