States also have responsibility to control price rise: Pranab

New Delhi, Nov 26 ( Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Thursday said that state governments too have a responsibility to control the shooting prices of essential commodities.

Intervening in the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the price rise, Mukherjee said “from the field to market, there is a huge mismanagement”.

He said the government was concerned about the rising prices of essential commodities, and added, “We have to protect the vulnerable and weaker sections of the society.”

Mukherjee requested the state governments to implement the central government programmes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) “to generate economic activities”.

“States should generate economic activities. That will generate income for the poor,” he said.

“The state governments will have to do it. If they do, we will deliver.”

The minister also rejected the allegations levelled against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government by the MPs that it was “too obsessed with the GDP growth” and was “mindless” of difficulties of the common man on the way to achieving the GDP growth.

“It is not correct,” said Mukherjee, but added immediately, “Yes, we want to achieve higher GDP growth.”

Referring to measures like the farm loan waiver taken by the UPA government to ease the burden on the farming community, the minister said Rs.186,000 crore were spent to stimulate internal demand due to the adverse impact of the financial crisis that began last year.

The minister said the country’s exports and imports were going down since October 2008 and the impact of the global meltdown still continued to be felt in the economy.