Congress-led UDF slams Kerala govt in assembly over price rise

The Congress-led UDF opposition in Kerala on Wednesday slammed the ruling Left in the assembly over the issue of rise in prices of vegetables, fish and poultry in the state, accusing it of being 'oblivious' to the plight of the common people.
Kerala Assembly
Kerala Assembly

Thiruvananthapuram | The Congress-led UDF opposition in Kerala on Wednesday slammed the ruling Left in the assembly over the issue of rise in prices of vegetables, fish and poultry in the state, accusing it of being 'oblivious' to the plight of the common people.

The opposition made the allegation in its motion seeking adjournment of the House proceedings to discuss the issue of rise in prices of vegetables and other food items in the state.

UDF MLA Roji M John said that last week the government said in the House that it was not aware about the rise in prices, which indicates that it was oblivious to what was happening and how people were being affected.

The allegations by the UDF were rejected by state Minister for Food and Civil Supplies G R Anil claiming that the government has carried out effective market interventions to control the rise in prices.

The minister also contended that the rise in prices of such items and inflation were much higher in the neighbouring states than in Kerala.

He also said that adverse weather conditions and reduced supply of vegetables from neighbouring states also contributed to a decrease in their availability and a resultant rise in prices.

Besides that, the financial restrictions imposed on Kerala by the Centre were also a reason for the rise in prices of commodities in the state, he claimed.

Anil said the government was carrying out effective market interventions and therefore, there was no need to adjourn the House to discuss the matter.

Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan.
Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan.

In view of the explanation given by the minister, Speaker A N Shamseer denied permission for the notice to adjourn the House.

In response, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan said that the government appeared to have no answers as to what steps it has taken to address the issue of price rise as the minister primarily spoke about the public distribution system and ration shops.

He alleged that the government, its agencies and departments have seriously failed to address the issue of price rise.

"When you (government) talk of making corrections, this is where you should correct yourself. In view of the serious failure on the part of the government, its agencies and departments to address the issue of price rise, we are staging a walkout," he said.

The prices of vegetables and fish are soaring in Kerala, with vendors attributing it to the extreme summer and untimely rains in Tamil Nadu, the major vegetable supplier to Kerala.

Fish prices are skyrocketing due to the shortage of landings caused by the 52-day annual trawling ban which came into effect from June 9.

Sardines, which are considered the common man's fish and usually sold at Rs 100 and below, are now sold for Rs 300 to 400 per kg, a point which was also raised in the House by UDF MLA John during the proceedings.

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