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A rural setup needed to combat inflation: Oscar Fernandes

Last Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 20:19

Shwetlana Tripathi

New Delhi: The wheel of our evolution needs to be re-revolved. The old-fashioned practice of living was in no terms worth leaving. Evolution has just hampered the capability to judge and behave in a manner benefitting one and all. Our ability to criticise has evolved, but not our capacity to counter the negatives we perceive. The agony of poverty is compounded by epidemic, starvation and many other catastrophes.

Ashutosh Rana took on Union Cabinet Minister for Transport, Road and Highways and talked about the contemporary inflationary phase in our country and the reasons behind it on Bharat Bhagya Vidhata`s show — Nishaane Pe. Fernandes, a vital cog in the UPA II government, talked about the possible strategies and schemes employed by Centre to counter inflation.

The consistent widening up of the gap between demand, supply and production of goods in our country has consequently caused price rise, said Fernandes as he summed up reasons for the woeful economic structure. The escalation in the value of rupee vis-à-vis dollar is occurring because the purchasing power of consumers has evolved in the past 15-20 years—this has further caused a drop in production. The government solely cannot be confounded for this, he said.

A way to combat this he felt was the re-emergence of traditional means of grain storage. Making agriculture the priority sector of country will be for the better. The minister was deeply impressed by the rural ways of living and working with a greater sense of responsibility. He also appreciated the concept of channeling ample monetary funds for health services in India and said that the government plans to provide unorganised labourers, which constitute 70% of the entire workforce, a health card that would enable them access to medical facilities up to Rs 30,000 at various medical centres spread across the country.

The key initiative of the Food Security Bill was discussed as, “the financial capability of a person shall determine the price of the commodity”. Under this scheme, rice shall cost Rs 2, and 10kgs of rice would cost Rs 30. Food Bill, Fernandes said will be a big help for impoverished classes who die of hunger and poverty. Besides this, he revealed that the government’s plan of infrastructure building could possibly fix all turbulences on the monetary front, unemployment, disparity in purchasing power, consumerism and expansion in exports. Recession and inflation was a global phenomenon, he stated and asked people not to be over-pessimistic.

As an illustrative reply to key solutions for the agenda, Oscar Fernandes said that if a person with an earning of Rs 50 contributes Rs 10 to the production process, he automatically invests 10% in the national production. This production could begin with some plantations in our kitchen gardens or by keeping safe and healthy. According to measurable standards, government asks for production in proportion to the expenditure. The difference between Commodity Price Index (CPI) and Wholesale Price Index (WPI) should be kept balanced. Different schemes and policies of the government including the Land Acquisition bill, Food Security Bill, life insurance policies and medical assistance facilities were acknowledged by the minister. He admitted to "leakage" (lapse) in implementation of laws, but also blamed it on the lack of social responsibility among people.

(The episode airs at 10:00 pm on Thursday on Zee News channel.)

First Published: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 20:09
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