The rise in the prices of essential food commodities, including pulses, is a matter of serious concern to the aam aadmi. The government's admission of “unhappy pressure” on food prices is not sufficient. The annual budget is an occasion to redress and address the issue. Let us hope the admission of unhappiness in the President's address will lead to some corrective action and give the weaker sections, including farmers and farm labour, some cause to cheer.
The President's claim that higher prices are inevitable is shocking. How is it that the governments find the resources to subsidise exports and imports of sugar but express helplessness in funding universal food coverage? Will not an increase in food subsidy and universal health care and education contribute to the enhancement of purchasing power? It is time economists realised the danger of tinkering with the so-called stimulant packages aimed at superficial growth rates.