Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the Centre will go to any length to guarantee that prices of basic food items such as onions, tomatoes, and pulses do not rise, particularly during the elections, citing the Modi government’s track record of lowering costs within days of any temporary hike.

Center should take every necessary action to keep food prices in check: Piyush Goyal

In an interview with PTI, Goyal, who heads the food and consumer affairs ministry, stated that the Modi government will continue to take steps to guarantee that “our Nari-Shakti”‘s household budget is not stressed.

In response to a question about the government’s strategy for ensuring that food prices do not rise during the general election, the minister stated, “We will be on top of it.” And I can guarantee the Indian people that this government is concerned about its women.”

He stated that the government had contributed over Rs 28,000 crore to the price stability fund in recent years to help combat food inflation.

“We will continue to be there for our sisters and mothers, ensuring that we do not cause stress…We are actively working to ensure that we respect our Nari-Shakti and that they have a better home budget,” Goyal said.

The Election Commission is scheduled to release the vote timetable soon, and the Lok Sabha elections will most likely take place in April-May.

The minister spoke extensively on the government’s many steps in recent years to control food costs such as onion, tomato, and legumes.

“When the whole world was facing severe inflation, particularly food inflation, and never seen before levels, some countries of the developed world were showing 40-year high inflation, India was a bright spot in the subject of inflation,” stated Mr. Singh.

Goyal claimed that during the UPA administration, inflation was high and food prices were out of control. “If you look at the India story, even during the worst times, we were able to maintain our inflation at pretty much reasonable levels.”

“We did not allow any product to experience increases beyond a certain point. We acted quickly if we noticed a product becoming more expensive, which was frequently due to circumstances outside our control,” he said.

Citing examples of tomato price increases caused by rains in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka around the same time, Goyal stated that the government promptly intervened and began importing tomatoes from other regions to enhance supplies across the country.

“We did not allow the price to linger at those extreme levels for more than a few days. “And as soon as the government intervened, prices returned to normal,” he remarked as per PTI

The food and consumer ministry also stated that similar measures were implemented when onion and pulse prices climbed above sustainable levels.

“Even at nominal increases, the government now takes proactive measures,” he went on to say.

To help the common man, Goyal announced that the Centre has introduced Bharat Chana daal at Rs 60 per kg, Bharat Atta (wheat flour) at Rs 27.50 per kg, and Bharat rice at Rs 29 per kg for sale in the open market.

These measures, he claimed, have had “salutary effects” on prices.

“Inflation of food has been kept under control and our overall inflation is also very much within the RBI mandate,” he went on to say.

Referring to the government’s recent forecast of decreased onion yield in 2023-24, he stated, “I can assure you that the government will be proactive in its efforts.”

The government operates 18,000 NCCF, NAFED, Kendriya Bhandar, and state government retail stores to sell subsidized products like pulses, aata, and rice.

Aside from that, he stated that the government has partnered with e-commerce sites to sell these things.