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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Deficient monsoon to pose difficulty in taming inflation: PM

PTI  New Delhi, August 15, 2012
First Published: 09:02 IST(15/8/2012) | Last Updated: 21:39 IST(15/8/2012)

Deficient monsoon will pose some difficulty in controlling inflation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.

"... we must control inflation. This would pose some difficulty because of a bad monsoon this year," Singh said in his Independence Day address.

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However, he said that the government has huge wheat and rice stocks and foodgrain supply is not a problem.

Although inflation moderated to 6.87% in July from 7.25% in June, food inflation was still ruling above 10%.

The price rise for food articles remain quite high affecting the budget of the common households. Prices of vegetables rose annually by 24%, egg, meat and fish by 16% and pulses by 28.26% in July.

The Prime Minister said the government has taken measures to deal with the deficient rainfall.

"Our effort is to ensure that people do not face difficulty due to shortage of seeds, fodder or water in any part of the country. It is good that we have a big stock of foodgrains ... and availability of foodgrains is not a problem for us," he said.

Monsoon, the life-line of Indian agriculture, has been deficient by 16% so far, affecting the sowing of Kharif crops, like paddy and coarse cereals. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan are facing drought-like situation.

"...We have taken many measures to deal with the situation. In districts where there has been a deficit of 50% or more in the rainfall, diesel subsidy is being provided to farmers by the government. Seed subsidy has been enhanced. Funds available under the central scheme for fodder have been increased," the Prime Minister said.

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