Special Correspondent

“People’s mood against Central government”

Price rise is inhumane, says party leader

Supporting parties pretending to distance themselves from the Centre

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Left parties, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh of being responsible for the “inhumane” price rise that had affected the common man.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, the party’s national vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that while the policies of the Manmohan Singh-led government were responsible for inflation, those political parties supporting the government were equally responsible.

Mr. Naqvi said that when it was apparent that the people’s mood was against the government, the supporting parties were pretending to distance themselves from the Centre. He said the Left parties, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party should prepare themselves to face the anger of the people in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has said the price rise will continue for the next six months and the Centre needs to take a re-look at its anti-inflationary measures.

“Rising oil, commodity and food prices are a global phenomenon and these cannot be influenced through monetary policy. It is, therefore, important that the authorities take a re-look at the anti-inflationary package,” a FICCI survey said.

About 68 per cent of the 317 companies surveyed by the chamber said inflation would continue to remain above the 7 per cent mark till this year end. Twenty-five per cent projected the rate to be in the range of 9-10 per cent.

A majority also felt that the bout of inflation was largely due to factors that could not be influenced by monetary policy measures. It said industry was under tremendous cost pressure on account of the rise in prices of raw materials, oil products, and power, and wages and the interest burden.

All these factors put a dent on the margins and operating performance of companies, forcing many to offset the pressure through price increase, the survey said.

With inflation showing little signs of cooling down, the industry fears that interest rates would remain high and may even rise further in the near term. A majority felt that interest rates should be brought down to check the slackening pace of growth in the manufacturing sector.

A majority of 88 per cent participants felt that interest rates would go up in the near term.

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