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Govt says no 'magic wand' to control inflation

The government says inflation has now become a global phenomenon, and while it has no magic wand to contain it, it will take all possible steps to control price rise.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 11, 2008 04:24 PM IST

Terming soaring inflation rate as a global phenomenon, the government on Friday said it has no "magic wand" to bring it down immediately though it is taking and will take all possible steps to contain price rise.

"Government has no magic wand to bring down inflation which is now a global phenomenon. Due to rise in prices worldwide, it has become rather an import inflation," Minister of Earth, Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said while briefing the mediapersons after the Cabinet meeting.

According to official figures, inflation has touched a 40-month high of 7.41 per cent for the week ended March 29.

Referring to World Bank figures, Sibal said prices of agricultural commodities have gone up by 73 per cent in the international market during the period between August 2007 to March 2008 period.

It included 88 per cent rise in prices of food products, followed by 74 per cent rise in wheat prices, 72 per cent in rice prices, 71 per cent in fat and oil prices and 35 per cent increase in sugar prices, he said.

"Inflation is at a very high level in all emerging markets such as China (8.7 per cent), Russia (11.9 per cent), Argentina (7.3 per cent) and Turkey (8.1 per cent)," he said, adding the government was taking all necessary steps to contain inflation.

Elaborating on the measures taken by the government to contain inflation, Sibal said state governments have been asked to put limits on stocks of foodgrain.

Ruling out an increase subsidies, he said efforts were being made to contain prices through duty cuts and other measures. The poor people were supported through public distribution system, he added.

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