The government on Friday said it would take appropriate steps, including strengthening the public distribution system (PDS), to control the prices of essential commodities.
“To insulate (common man) from the adverse impact of price rise we are improving the PDS system...this year the prices have not come down after the festival season,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, while replying to a discussion on the first batch of supplementary demands for grants in the Lok Sabha.
Food prices have accelerated by 19 per cent in a year stung by a supply crunch in staple items following one of the worst droughts in the last 40 years.
Wholesale food price index based food inflation jumped 19.05 per cent for the week ended November 28, from the same period a year ago.
Prices of such staples as potatoes have more than doubled from a year ago, while pulses were up 42 per cent.
“I have suggested to the experts in consultation with the agriculture minister that whether you can come out with another package which can induce the farmers to go for larger production of the pulses,” Mukherjee said.
The supplementary demands for grants, which the Lok Sabha approved, seeks to raise public expenditure by Rs 25,725 crore.
“It is expected that the fiscal deficit will remain within the estimate of 6.8 per cent presented in the budget in July 2009,” Mukherjee said.