A week after red flagging India’s rising debt, the Congress party today raised concerns on the high prices of essential commodities despite a contraction in the wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation.

Invoking the 'suit boot ki sarkar' jibe at the Centre, the party said the benefits of contraction in the wholesale price of crude oil and LPG are not being passed on to the final consumer and the end consumers are not getting benefited.

"The wholesale prices are coming down. Why are the benefits not being passed on to the 140 crore people of the country? What wrong have they committed?" said Congress party spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said in a press conference today.

"On May 23, WPI numbers for crude petroleum and LPG had a contraction of -27.01% and -24.35%, respectively. Why retail market prices of LPG, petrol, and diesel were not reduced and the government enjoyed the entire benefit of this contraction?" asked Vallabh.   

Vallabh said the ‘Suit Boot ki Sarkaar’ is just acting as a mere spectator and keeping silent when wholesalers and the government is benefiting from falling prices of the majority of essential commodities and final consumers are not getting any benefit.  

"When WPI numbers for May 2023 for vegetables, potato, and oil seeds are at -20.12%, -18.71%, and -15.65%, respectively, and when the same product was purchased by farmers for self-consumption CPI on food and beverages is +3.29%. So farmers are selling their products at lower prices and buying them for self-consumption at higher prices. Is this the method for doubling farmers' income?" Vallabah said.  

It may be noted that the WPI based inflation in May 2023 contracted 3.48% year-on-year compared with 0.92% contraction in April 2023 on account of fall in prices of mineral oils, basic metals, food products, textiles, non-food articles, crude petroleum and natural gas, and chemical and chemical products.

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