Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: With the prices of essential commodities soaring, the government on Wednesday came under flak as members in the Lok Sabha sought immediate measures to check inflation.

Participating in a discussion on supplementary demands for grants for the current fiscal, CPI(M) member Anil Basu said, “The wholesale price index showed a decline in August. But, the consumer price index has increased. The government has failed to take necessary action to reduce the consumer price index…Why are prices of essential commodities soaring? Why is the agriculture scenario so pessimistic? May be the Prime Minister is busy elsewhere outside the CMP.”

Seeking higher allocations for agriculture and rural development, Satyanarayan Jatiya (BJP) noted that the amount of Rs. 300 crore earmarked to expedite growth of certain agricultural areas under the Eleventh Plan was not enough. Other members such as Sitaram Singh (RJD) argued that a mere minimum support price was not enough for farmers and crops should be purchased at market rates.

Echoing similar sentiments, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress said that more should be done to ensure farm sector growth. “Only 10 per cent of farmers are covered by crop insurance,” he said. Several members demanded implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report on the farm sector.