After hectic talks between ministers and departments, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finally announced his response to the food price crisis — and it promises more of the same.
The new measures — including a scheme to sell onions at Rs 35 per kg — are similar to those announced by the government to beat the rising prices a year ago, except that this time, it sounds less confident. In a carefully worded statement, the PM laid the blame for rising prices on India’s new found prosperity.
“The rise in prices is partly due to late rains, which affected the onion crop,” the statement posted on the PM’s official website said. “There is also an underlying increase in prices of milk, eggs, meat and fish, which is the result of fast growth of the economy, leading to rising income levels, combined with the effect of several inclusiveness programme which put greater income in the hands of the relatively poor whose food consumption increases.. As incomes rise, demand shifts towards horticultural crops, dairy products,” it added.