NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha on Friday witnessed heated exchanges between Treasury and Opposition benches over claims by a Congress leader that essential commodities are fast disappearing from markets after the prime minister's address to the nation.
Soon after the Question Hour, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said while his party is with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in efforts to combat coronavirus, after his address to the nation, "the markets are on fire".
He alleged that prices of commodities, including food items have gone up and essential items are fast disappearing from market shelves.
"Masks are not available, hoarders are stocking up things," he said amid protests by Treasury benches.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said the government has taken effective steps to deal with the outbreak.
The suggestions made by the prime minister (in his address) should be honoured in the interest of the nation, Joshi said.
He and his Cabinet colleague Prakash Javadekar rejected suggestions that essential items are disappearing from shelves, saying "everything is available. Don't press panic button."
Joshi said claims that commodities are not available was triggering panic which was not a good thing to do.
Congress members later walked out of Lok Sabha proceedings. The prime minister was not present in the House.