Inflation row heats up across India

January 17th, 2011 - 1:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Agra/Amritsar, Jan 17 (ANI): Reeling under the spiraling prices of essential commodities, locals and activists from regional factions staged agitations in several parts of the country to protest the perceived inability of the central government in tackling inflation.

The simmering row over inflation boiled over in Agra as activists of regional Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha (SCS) vented their ire through a unique demonstration.

Shouting slogans, the student activists traversed the streets of Agra on bullock and horse carts to protest the recent nationwide hike in fuel prices.

“The prices of petrol are being increased very frequently. We condemn this action of the government. Through this protest, we want to convey to our government that if fuel prices continue to soar, we would have no option but to travel in bullock and horse carts,” said Madan Mohan Sharma, district president of the SCS.

Meanwhile, slamming the government decision to hike fuel prices, workers of regional Shiv Sena faction staged a heated agitation on the streets of Amritsar.

Urging the Congress party to take immediate action to bring the situation under control, the Shiv Sena activists burnt an effigy of Petroleum Minister Murli Deora as a sign of protest.

India is beset by rising food and fuel prices, and the central government has drawn flak for failing to check inflation, which has hit hundreds of millions of poor people.

State-owned oil companies had hiked petrol prices on Saturday by Rs. 2.50 - Rs. 2.54 per litre, the second hike in a month, due to rising global crude oil prices

Indian firms in December raised petrol prices by up to 5.6 percent, the biggest rise in six months, to protect their margins from high crude oil prices.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI), rose to annual 8.43 percent in December, after a rise of 7.48 percent in November. India’s fuel inflation rose to 11.19 percent in December from 10.3 percent in November.

Vegetable prices were up 3.84 percent week-on-week and have risen around 71 percent year-on-year. Onions were up nearly 2 percent on the week and 71 percent on an annual basis. (ANI)

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