Attacking the Modi government rising prices of staples, the Congress on Sunday said that the Consumer Food Price Index (CPFI) has been consistently high for the last few months, both in urban and rural areas.
Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said: "The overall CFPI had been over 9 per cent for July and August but has breached the 10 per cent mark in September."
He said the new GDP, which he defined as "Green Vegetable, Dal & Potato", is "out of control" of the government and the actual GDP is already in contraction.
The Congress alleged that the inflation rate for vegetables was 22.71 per cent and for pulses and others, 13.69 per cent.
Raising the issue of potato, he said: "The current prices of potato are the highest in the last 130 months and the rates in October have sky-rocketed too."
The Congress demanded that the government immediately act against black-marketers, assess stock of essential items lying in cold storages and push sufficient stock in the markets to control prices.
Seeking to know the reason behind the escalation of prices of staples, the party asked what the government doing to control it.
"The government's incompetence and inaction is evident from the fact that while we exported 1.23 lakh tonne of potatoes to nations like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Myanmar and others in 2019-20... we ourselves have a supply shortage," Gourav Vallabh said.
According to Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer Welfare, there were 238.5 lakh tonne potatoes in the cold storages in 2018-19 but that has come down to 214.25 lakh tonne in 2019-2020, he said, adding that the government is now forcing the farmers to take out these stocks by October, instead of November end.
"On one hand, the government has been crying out loud that farmers will now be able to sell their produce anywhere, anytime, and on the other hand, it is forcing farmers to take potatoes out of cold storage and sell them," Gourav Vallabh said.
He also asked where are the onions which had been imported in January 2020.
"We imported 46,000 tonne of onions to control the rates in our domestic market. Out of the 46,000 tonne, 32,000 tonne or close to 70 per cent went rotten in the godowns and weren't even allowed to go to market. Was black marketing and illegal hoarding the reason for it?" he said.
(With inputs from IANS)