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BJP and BJD compete to flare up inflation: Former Odisha Minister  

Posted on 23 Jun 2014

Last updated 28 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0530

  BJP, BJD, Inflation, Price Rise, Niranjan Patnaik
The Odisha Government has lost touch with the people and it raised excise duties on Petroleum products. This means that people of Odisha are going to pay more than people of other states. It will affect ordinary people like motor cycle owners. The consequent rise in Bus fare is certainly going to affect many more including the poor daily wage earners.

HNF Correspondent

 

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD), in Delhi and Odisha respectively, are competing to flare up inflation, alleged former minister and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik.

“Rise in passenger fare, fright charges and excise on petroleum product ill-timed and inflationary,” said Niranjan criticising the BJP for betraying the trust of the people by increasing passenger rail fare by 14.2 % and freight by 6 % at a time when the country is already reeling under severe inflationary pressure because of rise in prices of onion and potatoes.

The increase passenger fare and freight charges will have a cascading effect and drive the economy into an inflationary spiral, Niranjan alleged reminding that a further rise in prices of Petrol and Diesel cannot be ruled out because of the growing uncertainties in the entire Middle East and particularly Iraq.

BJP had promised to the people of India during election campaigning that they would rein in inflation. But, as they secured the mandate of the people, they talk about ‘bitter pill.’

In the past, all such economic decisions by the UPA Government were termed ‘anti-people.’ Now they have become ‘necessities for a stronger economy’. People of India have been cheated by supposedly an honest government.

The Railways have not been incurring any operational loss and therefore the central Government should have waited for the regular budget to find funds for ongoing railway projects. The UPA Government had already allowed infusion of additional funds into the railways by allowing investment by the private sector on PPP (public private participation) mode in dedicated freight corridor though the response was not encouraging.

The former PCC President also criticised the Odisha government for its subdued criticism of the Central Government in regard to such decisions and said, “After parading his MPs before the Delhi durbar and promising constructive support, Naveen Babu is in no position to speak strongly against the Central Government.”

“In fact, why was he parading his MPs when other CMs like Jaylalitha met the PM in a dignified official way? What was he trying to prove by parading his MPs before the PM?” – questioned Niranjan.

The Odisha Government has lost touch with the people and it too raised excise duties on Petroleum products. This means that people of Odisha are going to pay more than people of other states. It will affect ordinary people like motor cycle owners. The consequent rise in Bus fare is certainly going to affect many more including the poor daily wage earners. The State Governments economic managers should have been cognizant of the high food inflation and possibilities of increase in Petroleum prices because of the Iraq situation, Niranjan said.

“The decision of the state Government is ill-timed, unjustified and avoidable. The problem is that BJD is clue less about economic growth and finds no way of augmenting revenue collection and, so, has passed on the burden to the common man to fund populist sops that can win votes. Why has the growth rate dipped and why has the revenue collection been poor except poor management of the state’s economy?” – Niranjan questioned again.

Demanding immediate roll back of the rise in passenger rail fare by the central government and the increase in excise duties on petroleum products by the Odisha government, the former minister said that the parties ruling at the centre and the state of Odisha are acting to add to the woes of people.

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