Govt responsible for price rise:CPI-M

New Delhi: The CPI(M) today squarely blamed government`s policies for the "big increase" in food prices, saying even the UPA allies were "willing partners" in mounting this "assault" on the common people.

"The big increase in food prices, with food inflation rate crossing 11 per cent once again underlines the totally callous approach of this government whose policies are directly responsible for the current situation," the CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.

Holding "the allies of the government as being equally responsible and willing partners in this assault on the lives of the `aam aadmi`", it asked its units to step up protests demanding a "reversal" of the food-related policies "which has affected the vast majority" of the people.

"Worse are the bankrupt arguments from official quarters justifying the price rise as being a deseasonal effect, when as is well known, the prices have less to do with seasonal factors than with the increase in fuel prices," it said.

The fuel price index was over 14 per cent higher than last year as a result of deregulation and eight-time hike in fuel prices, while the Government has "refused" to ban speculative trade in agricultural commodities, it said.

Maintaining that the UPA was continuing to promote policies which "weaken the public distribution system", it said the government has "utterly failed" to ensure good price to farmers for their products. "Thus under the UPA-II, both the consumer and the producer are suffering."

"Having followed policies which are bound to increase prices, the government now wants to utilise the price increases to bring in FDI and corporates in retail on the false argument that this will lead to an efficient market which will bring down prices," the CPI(M) said.