Expressing concern over the rising food prices, union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will take appropriate measures but asserted that the country could not go on a "reverse growth path".
"Inflation is a concern. I am concerned that prices are increasing," Mukherjee said here while addressing the 189th annual general meeting (AGM) of the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce.
"As suggested, the RBI will take appropriate measures as and when needed. But at the same time, I cannot go on a reverse growth path," Mukherjee said.
The finance minister said the economy was likely to grow between 8.5-8.75 percent in the 2010-11 fiscal.
"The growth in the first quarter of 2010-11 was 8.8 (percent). But I am a bit conservative. So I am sticking to my previous projections of 8.5-8.75 percent growth," he said.
Mukherjee said it was the "constitutional duty" of the state governments to strengthen the public distribution system (PDS) as far as catering to the below poverty line (BPL) families was concerned.
"It is the constitutional duty of the states who should not always pass the blame for the shortfalls in the PDS to the central government," he said.
Mukherjee iterated that he was opposed to multiplicity of taxes, but said political consensus was needed for enforcing the goods and service tax (GST).
He said there was a consensus on many aspects of the GST, but unanimity was needed as getting the needed two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament for ratifying the GST was not an easy task.