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Mar 03, 2010 at 05:36pm IST

Yet to calculate impact on food prices: Pawar

New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar says he is yet to calculate the impact of the fuel price hike on food prices in the country while BJP continues its fight against price rise, insisting for a rollback.

Sharad Pawar faced Opposition fire over price rise again on Wednesday as the irate members refused to let the Agriculture Minister have his say in the Rajya Sabha.

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Rajya Sabha had a tough time answering questions on price rise. The Speaker also has a tough time maintaing order, up on his feet to ensure that Pawar speaks.

NO CLUE: The Union Agriculture Minister is yet to calculate on the impact of fuel price hike on food prices.

Rajya Sabha members were particularly irked when Pawar tried to link high prices to higher MSP. They said he is skirting the issue, and they have heard all this before.

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"When it comes to taking credit, Congress leadership is on the forefront but why are Sonia and Rahul silent on a burning issue like price rise," asked BJP stalwart Venkaiah Naidu.

However, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has defended the govt's stand on oil hike, saying that it's important for the growth of the country.

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"Hike was necessary to maintain growth, give aam aadmi spending power and create stimulus for growth," said Ambika.

Union Law Minister V Moily says: "Parliament is the best democratic set up, they should participate in the discussion."

The Congress is still standing by the Prime Minister. Defending its stand, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said, "the hike has been supported by all eminent economists."

"Oil price hike is the logic of economics, global prices have led to it. I don't know why the Opposition is making such a hullabaloo about it. They increased the prices so many times during their times," said Tiwari.

"Every eminent economist has backed the fuel price hike. Everybody wants everything for free, a country cannot run for free. We have to look after the health of the oil companies and the health of the country. If the Opposition wants to earn some brownie points, there is nothing much we can do about it," he added.

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