Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today attacked the Centre for attributing price rise to “adverse” weather conditions, contending that cost of essential commodities were contained when similar climatic conditions prevailed between 2000-02.

“I am surprised to learn that the Government of India has attributed price rise to ‘adverse’ weather and climate change,” Mr. Modi said at the Chief Minister’s conference convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He contended that “more adverse climatic conditions” had prevailed for three years between 2000-02 which had an “equally adverse effect on agriculture production.”

“Yet, the food inflation was contained within five per cent through better supply side management,” he said.

BJP-led NDA was in power at the Centre from 1998 to 2004.

Mr. Modi also sought to reject the Centre’s argument that hike in minimum support price had led to rising prices.

“If the rise in Minimum Support Price of paddy has been 16 per cent and about 50 per cent in the statutory support price of sugarcane during 2009-10, we are unable to appreciate the economic logic behind 40-60 per cent rise in the prices of food grains and more than 150 per cent rise in the prices of sugar,” he said.

Mr. Modi contended that the food price inflation shown by the wholesale price index was not the correct measurement of the price situation faced by a consumer as the common man paid much higher price than the wholesaler.

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