The United Progressive Alliance government has not only done anything to stop the upward spiral of inflation, but is also guilty of pushing prices further northwards through taxation, the BJP alleged on Tuesday.

Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar charged the Union and Delhi governments with using the coming Commonwealth Games as an excuse to levy higher taxes and give a push to inflation at a time when the common man was reeling under the double-digit inflation that had especially hit food articles.

Through hikes in petrol and diesel prices and other taxes in the Union budget, the Centre imposed a burden of about Rs. 50,000 crore on the people. Now, the Delhi government had presented its budget and once again the Commonwealth Games was cited to further hike taxes on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG) and a host of other articles of daily use, Mr. Javadekar said.

Debate on prices

The recent debate on prices in Parliament had educated people and they now know that the present inflation was not the result of worldwide rise in prices of food or of high procurement price offered to farmers. Instead, it was the direct outcome of a faulty government policy, he said.

The party blamed speculative trade in commodities for high prices of food items even when there was no real shortage. And, for this, the Centre would have to take the blame.

After presenting the budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee estimated that the inflationary impact of the proposals would be to the tune of 0.4 per cent. “But, we say the inflation as a result of the budget would be ten-fold at 4 per cent,” Mr. Javadekar said.

While the BJP-ruled States were offering wheat and rice to poor families at affordable rates ranging from Re. 1 to Rs. 3 a kg, the Centre only talked about food security and done nothing, Mr. Javadekar said.