The members of the Indian National Congress (INC) protested in Parliament on the topic of increasing onion prices across the country. The members of the Opposition also protested against what they said were insensitive remarks by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Leaders of the Congress Party protest outside Parliament against rising inflation & soaring prices & the arrogant, insensitive comments by the FM @nsitharaman#SayItLikeNirmalaTai pic.twitter.com/49jysPLPbM— Congress (@INCIndia) December 5, 2019
P Chidambaram was also a part of the protests, a morning after he was released from Tihar jail in the INX Media case. The Congress party members had brought placards and onions to protests against the rising prices of essential vegetables. The protesting members shouted slogans demanding the government to reduce the food prices and to stop harassing the poor.
In the Parliament on Wednesday, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "I don't eat much of onion and garlic. I come from such a family which doesn't have much to do with onion."
The protests took place as the Reserve Bank of India, during its bi-monthly monetary policy review, revised the inflation rate projection in the country. The RBI raised its inflation projection to 5.1-4.7% for the second half of the current fiscal year on the back of a spike in prices of vegetables such as onion and tomatoes. The earlier projection stood at 3.5-3.7%.
The RBI statement read, "food inflation spiked to 6.9% in October – a 39-month high – pushed up by a sharp increase in prices of vegetables due to heavy unseasonal rains. Prices of onions, in particular, shot up by 45.3% in September and further by 19.6% in October. Inflation in several other food items such as fruits, milk, pulses, and cereals also increased, reflecting diverse factors – the cost-push of fodder prices in the case of milk; decline in production and sowing area of pulses".
The real GDP growth for 2019-20 has also been revised from 6.1% to 5.0% by the RBI.