The Union government on Monday said it is confident of controlling surging food prices soon even as the Planning Commission said the Centre has not acted resolutely to crack down on hoarders.
The government's exuberance on price front comes even though the Central Statistical Organisation said the farm output is expected to contract by 0.2 per cent this fiscal because of drought in some parts and floods in some others.
The CSO forecast is bad news for the government battling high prices as lower farm output could strain food supplies further.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said food prices have surged due to supply side problems. "There is an imbalance between the demand and supply and the Centre has taken notice of it. Some people were taking advantage. The government has taken the initiative to increase the supply line so that there is a balance with the demand ratio."
He added that prices would come down soon. "The process is on to control the price rise. I am hopeful that the prices of essential items will be in control soon," he said after receiving the Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque at Asiatic Society.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi Planning Commission Member Abhijit Sen said, "Whenever prices start rising, some people see opportunity to make money... On that front, probably, the government did not act with resoluteness that it could have."
Under attack for the rising food prices, Food Minister Sharad Pawar on Saturday had asked the states to step up action against hoarding. "Those states which have not yet utilised the provisions (of the Essential Commodities Act) may consider doing the same....," he had said.