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Worried over inflation, Govt may announce steps today

The government is likely to announce today a slew of steps to bring down high prices, particularly of food items, following PM Manmohan Singh's consultations with ministers. To add to the trouble, extreme cold has damaged pulse crops, which may result in a spike in their prices in coming days.

delhi Updated: Jan 13, 2011 10:04 IST

The government is likely to announce on Thursday a slew of steps to bring down high prices, particularly of food items, following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's consultations with his senior Cabinet colleagues Tuesday.

The Prime Minister's meeting was followed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee holding discussions with Food and Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia Wednesday.

Commodities market regulator Forward Market Commission's chairman B C Khatua was also called for consultations.

Soon after the meeting earlier in the day, Pawar said that the government would make an announcement in this regard later in the evening.

Sources said the Cabinet Secretariat, in consultation with the finance and agriculture ministries, was working on anti-inflationary measures till late in the night.

The steps being contemplated may include reduction of duties on milk power, banning exports of wheat products and taking more essential commodities out of the futures market.

The government has been under attack for not being able to bring down prices, especially of food items. The food inflation, fuelled by rising prices of vegetables, fruits, meat and egg has crossed 18 per cent on December 25.

After the Prime Minister's consultations, the decision of the Agriculture Ministry to export five lakh tonnes of sugar was referred to an empowered group of ministers, headed by Mukherjee.

First Published: Jan 13, 2011 09:59 IST