New Delhi, July 28 : Responding to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's charges on price rise and his 'Arhar Modi' rant directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday alleged that there was policy paralysis during the former UPA regime as they left the nation with double-digit inflation.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said, "There was policy paralysis during UPA, the earlier government left the country with double digit inflation." Stating that the present inflation was due to seasonal factors, the Finance Minister said the government has taken several steps to control the prices of essential commodities.
"Inflation is under control. I expect it to reduce further with good monsoon," Jaitley said. However, the Congress vice-president hit back and told the media outside the Parliament that the Finance Minister gave a long speech but did not answer his questions.
"He gave a thirty-minute long speech but did not answer my questions. I asked why is there such discrepancy between the price that the farmer gets and the price in the market," he said.
"This situation can be easily solved. If you want to bring down the prices, increase the supply. But you cannot do this because you want to benefit a selected number of people, who are big traders," he added.
Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Modi for failing to control the rising prices of vegetables and other essential commodities, Gandhi earlier criticised the government in the Lok Sabha over the false promises made to the nation and failure to tackle the rampant inflation.
Gandhi said the BJP-led NDA Government had a grand celebration on its second anniversary but they forgot that none of their promises have been fulfilled in the last two years.
"Modi government celebrated its second happy birthday a few days back. While addressing the people, he spoke about Make in India, Connect India, Digital India, but he does not talk about price rise.
Not once did he talk about pulses, potatoes and tomatoes," he said. "Not once has the issue of price rise been addressed by the Modi government" he added. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Modi for failing to control the Dal prices, he said, "There is a new slogan which is now becoming popular in the villages, 'Arhar Modi, Arhar Modi, Arhar Modi," he said.
He further stated that the government can make false claims on Start-up India, Stand up India or for that matter Swachh Bharat initiative, but not on rising prices which has been spiraling out of control.
"Make as many empty promises as you want, but give this House a date by which prices will come down," he said.
He said that not even one person was employed under the 'Make in India' initiative..