While prices of arhar daal (once a part of poor man’s diet) continue to skyrocket, no one is available in Delhi take a call on how to check the spiralling prices.
On Tuesday, arhar daal was costing Rs 180 per kilo, more expensive than even chicken. In Delhi, price of most other daals are well over Rs 100, with prices having increased by Rs 10-30 per kg since early September.
On Tuesday, the finance minister, Arun Jaitley, said that the central government was actively planning to build up a buffer stock of pulses through imports to contain prices.
She told reporters in Delhi on Tuesday, ” We will be putting tender for import of additional 2,000 tonne of pulses soon.”
Opposition parties have wasted no time in attacking the government for its poor response to deal with the crisis. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, “As prices rose, the government wasted crucial month, insisting on a tendering technique unavailable with the agriculture minister.”
Curiously, both the agriculture minister, Radha Mohan Singh, and the food and civil supplies minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, have been focussing their attention on Bihar elections for several weeks.
When jantakareporter.com tried to contact Paswan’s office, we were told that the ‘minister sahab is samay Bihar election mein vyast hain.’
Another official said that both these ministers were unlikely to attend office until the conclusion of Bihar elections, which culminate on 8 November.
The central government’s inability to check soaring prices of arhar and other pulses have elicited sharp criticism from social media users.
Former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Markandey Katju tweeted,
Achche di aa gaye
If you cannot eat dal and onions, eat caviare, lobsters and broccolihttp://t.co/LlbBC7zCxA
— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) October 14, 2015
User @vi_vibhavjoshi tweeted;
Good Idea for Diwali Gifts…5 KG gift hampers of Arhar Dal ! https://t.co/cpCMPuzF0Q
— Vibhav Joshi (@vi_vibhavjoshi) October 15, 2015
The exceptional rise in daal prices comes barely a month after the central government was condemned for its inability to check the prices of onions.