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It is not usual for the steel minister of the country to track inflation indices. But even by the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) lax standards, minister Beni Prasad Verma’s claim that inflation will help farmers falls in the “no bread, eat cakes" class.

Verma said “dal, atta, rice and vegetables have become expensive. The more the prices, the better it is for farmers. I am happy with this inflation".

The minister, presumably, is innocent of the fact that a large number of farmers in the country are net consumers and inflation ends up hurting them badly. Even in the case of farmers who have a surplus to bring to the market, the gap between the farm and the fork is so big that they are not the recipients of the kind of largesse the minister imagines is generated by inflation.

Forget the urban mass (that the UPA thinks is disaffected), inflation hurts the rural poor far more severely.

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