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PM's meet on price rise ends inconclusively

CNN-IBN
Jan 11, 2011 at 04:35pm IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday met senior cabinet ministers to discuss and review food inflation in the country.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia among others attended the high level meeting.

However the meeting held at the Prime Minister's Race Course Road residence remained inconclusive and could continue on Wednesday as well.

The UPA top brass was likely to address the steep price rise of vegetables like onion, dairy products and meat which have sky-rocketed over the past month taking the country's food inflation beyond the 18 per cent mark.

Sharad Pawar has said that the crisis is likely to continue at the moment even as the food inflation figure has gone up from 14.44 per cent to 18.32 per cent last week.

The prices of onion, which is bringing tears to everybody's eyes, has gone up by a record 82 per cent over the corresponding period last year. And the vegetables are at an overall high of 59 per cent over the corresponding period last year.

Pawar was likely to face criticism as he has said that the onion prices would remain high for three weeks and the situation is likely to improve only after that.

People hope that around January 14 (makar sankranti) new crop would come from Nasik, Pune and other parts of Maharashtra and the wholesale prices of onion would come down.

Also the income tax raids on the middlemen would curtail hoardings, if any.

Lots of arguments were going within the Congress on how to tackle the inflation. So, it is expected that at least an attempt will be made to bring down the food prices.

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