BJP leader and former minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha on Monday asserted that there is no 'mehngai' (inflation) and the Opposition has been looking for it but is unable to find it. Participating in the debate on price rise in Lok Sabha, Sinha contended that the government has ensured that the "thali" (plate) of the poor is full of eatables and the people are shielded from the impact of inflation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis.
Hitting out at opposition parties for doling out freebies, he said, "There are a lot of the 'revadi' people. In Rajasthan also choorma is being made and ghee is being added to it. We have to be careful of those making choorma, sandesh, jalebi, and those reveriwalas who are destroying the country." In a swipe at the Aam Aadmi Party and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he said, "Delhi people have got a halwaai who keeps making jalebi and he has taken that to Punjab and now since elections are coming, that 'Jalebiwala' is going to Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh."
The MP from Jharkhand's Hazaribagh slammed the Opposition parties, saying they ventured out to look for inflation but did not find it and if they must worry about inflation it is in their own states. "Supriya Sule ji rightly pointed out that stomach is not filled by statistics, I go to panchayats in my constituency and the people tell me that 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured that our stomachs are full'. During the COVID pandemic, the free ration was provided to all the poor and everything was made available to them," said Sinha, whose father Yashwant Sinha was the joint opposition nominee in the recent presidential polls.
"If you look at the 'thali' of a poor, and ask him what is the price you are paying for rice, he would tell you that it is for free, dal also is available at low prices. The vegetables you were getting for Rs. 10-15 eight years back, you are still getting it for around the same price and at a maximum of Rs 15-20," he said. Sinha claimed that the control of the government on the prices of essentials such as flour, milk, and eggs has been unmatched.
"This was not possible in your (UPA) time and so the 'thali' of the poor is not full with statistics but with eatables and his stomach is getting full with that. This is the reality, you do not like it, you are looking for inflation but you are not finding it anywhere, because there is no inflation. Look at it from the point of view of the common person, we have filled the 'thali' of the common person," Sinha said. He listed the schemes of the government providing houses and toilets to the poor to praise the government's performance.
"We have given Rs 5 lakh coverage under Ayushman Bharat, what price rise? In saturation mode, we are giving gas cylinders to crores of people. You are looking for inflation but you are not finding it and you are doing drama in the Well," he said, slamming the protest of the Opposition in the House. "People are not feeling inflation because of the prime minister's foresightedness that he paid so much attention and as soon as he came, he brought in Jan Dhan bank accounts. When COVID came, we deposited money directly in the bank accounts of the people," Sinha said.
Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile number trinity has provided a shield to the people against inflation, he argued. "When the problem of COVID came, we had the infrastructure and financial structure to deal with it," Sinha said.
He said there were two big "once-in-a-century shocks" of COVID and the Ukraine crisis and the PM kept people protected from inflation and ensured that recovery has been such that India is one of the fastest growing economies. "We are lower in inflation than the US and Europe. When the US and Europe were around just two percent, in the UPA's time inflation was around 12 percent. We have controlled inflation and did what UPA could not," he asserted.