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CWC to discuss price rise

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) will meet on Friday to discuss price rise and the current political situation in the country, especially Maharashtra in the wake of Shiv Sena barbs over party general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s “Mumbai for all” remark.

delhi Updated: Feb 05, 2010 00:00 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) will meet on Friday to discuss price rise and the current political situation in the country, especially Maharashtra in the wake of Shiv Sena barbs over party general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s “Mumbai for all” remark.

An unfazed Gandhi will miss this year’s first CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body, meet in view of his visit to Mumbai where he is expected to meet students and slum youth despite threats by the Shiv Sena to greet him with black flags.

While price rise of essential commodities tops the CWC agenda, the proposed hike in petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG prices
is also expected to come up for discussion at the meeting that comes a day ahead of the conference of chief ministers convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the price rise.

The issue had been haunting the UPA government and the Congress for the past several months now. The opposition parties and several opposition-ruled states have blamed the government for its failure to check spiralling prices.

Voicing her concern, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had recently stated that rising prices was of “highest concerns” for the party. The CWC meeting last year had also thoroughly debated the issue.

In December last year, the country’s annual food inflation had risen the highest in 11 years at 19.95 per cent. It came slightly down in January to stand at 17.40 per cent.

The government has recently announced a slew of measures to tame rising prices, announcing sale of 3 million metric tonnes of stocked grains in the open market until March and duty-free imports of white sugar until December 31 to shore up supplies.

The meeting is also expected to discuss Kirit Parikh-headed expert group’s suggestion on freeing petrol and diesel prices as well as raising LPG rates by Rs 100 a cylinder and kerosene prices by Rs 6 per litre.