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Immediate goal to 'moderate' inflation to 5%: FM

"Once inflation is moderated, interest rates will also decline," says the FM while declining to set any time frame for this.

business Updated: Apr 15, 2007 17:58 IST

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday said the immediate goal of the government is to "moderate" inflation to about five per cent "or so" and asserted that it was taking every step in this regard.

Chidambaram, who was asked about the steep hike in bank interest rates, said it had been done to moderate inflation. "Once inflation is moderated, interest rates will also decline". He declined to set any time frame for this.

"The immediate goal of the governemnt is to moderate inflation to about 5 per cent or so," he told reporters at Honnenahalli in Kolar district, about 50 kms from here, after attending Canara Bank's "Conclave of Self-Help Groups".

"You can't complain about inflation and then when you take anti-inflation measures, complain (then) also", he said, when asked about high interest rates affecting Self Help Groups.

Chidambaram said in 2000-2001, inflation was over six per cent in 48 out of 52 weeks. But in the last week, it had come down to below six per cent. "Every step is being taken to moderate inflation".

Asked if the Rupee was still competitive vis-a-vis other currencies, he said, "at the current level, the Rupee is still competitive".

First Published: Apr 15, 2007 17:45 IST