PM to discuss steps to tame prices with CMs tomorrow
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet the core group of chief ministers on Wednesday to discuss steps to tame rising prices, amid fears of inflation crossing the double-digit mark.Updated: Apr 07, 2010, 21:47 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet the core group of chief ministers on Wednesday to discuss steps to tame rising prices, amid fears of inflation crossing the double-digit mark.
"I would like to discuss (issue of price rise) with chief ministers", Singh told reporters at Rashtrapati Bhawan after the presentation of Padma awards by President Pratibha Patil.
The government in February had set up the high-powered core committee comprising Chief Ministers of 10 major states and senior Cabinet ministers to monitor the price situation and suggest corrective measures to check inflation.
Chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are members of the core group.
Besides CMs, the other members of committee are Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Though Prime Minister is not part of the Group, he decided to convene the first meeting of the committee as the issue concerns common man, a senior government official said.
Inflation soared to 9.89 per cent during on February and is expected to cross the double-digit mark in March, the data for which is likely to be released next week. The food inflation had been ruling at over 16 per cent.
Asked about decision of the Left Parties to launch 'jail bharo' agitation on price rise, Singh said, "I don't think this problem can be solved by agitational tactics. I would like political parties to pool their wisdom, knowledge and experience to evolve practical and pragmatic solution to the problem."
The core committee will also deliberate on measures to reduce the huge gap between farm gate and retail price. Mukherjee earlier raised this issue in Parliament.
The terms of reference of the core group include development of strategy to raise agriculture production, better implementation of the Essential Commodities Act and ensuring effective delivery of food grains to poor.
The country has been facing perennial shortage of pulses and edible oils, while sugar production fluctuates widely resulting in either glut or shortfall.