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FM mum on steps to curb rising prices

Last updated on: April 15, 2008 17:16 IST

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, on Tuesday, said that he would not discuss with the media what steps the government is taking to bring down rising prices.

He was speaking to journalists outside Parliament soon after the first adjournment of the house on Tuesday morning on the issue of rising prices.

Business in the Rajya Sabha was transacted without any disruption in the morning, but as soon as the chairman called for the first question of the day, the entire opposition and the Left parties got on to their feet and demanded immediate discussion on rising prices and strengthening of the public distribution system.

"We are shortly going to convene a meeting and discuss the issue with the Cabinet Committee on Prices to take measures that would soon start showing results. But I cannot discuss with you the measures while Parliament is in session. We shall respond charges when the matter is taken up for discussion," the finance minister said.

Earlier, before Parliament assembled after one-month break to resume the Budget session, angry parliamentarians cutting across party line walked from the Constitution Club to the main gate of the Parliament building raising slogans against the government.

"We want the quota of wheat, rice and pulses, etc that has been drastically cut by the Union government to be restored, particularly in the opposition-ruled states. We shall not allow people to suffer. Nor shall we allow futures trading in wheat and rice," CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechuri told rediff.com.

Amongst those who participated in the march included CPM's Brinda Karat, TDP's Yerran Naidu, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, among others.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, called the march 'a complete fraud as it has exposed the Left parties' true face.' "They are having best of both the worlds: ennjoying the government, as well as acting like opposition," said BJP vice president M A Naqvi.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi