Controlling inflation a priority: Chidambaram

February 29th, 2008 - 2:03 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) Amid disruption from the opposition, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said while presenting the annual budget in the Lok Sabha Friday that “checking inflation was a priority of the government”. It was his fifth consecutive annual budget as the United Progressive Alliance government’s finance minister, a “rare honour” he said he shared with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Chidambaram had said Thursday after tabling the Economic Survey 2007-08 that India’s inflation would remain above four percent even for the current fiscal and efforts would continue to bring down prices.

“It is expected to be above four percent. Our efforts will be to further contain inflation,” Chidambaram told reporters outside parliament, after tabling the Economic Survey for 2007-08.

Inflation in the first week of February this year shot up to a six-month high with wholesale prices climbing to 4.35 percent for the week ended Feb 9, as against 4.07 percent and 4.11 percent in the preceding two weeks.

In the first week of February, prices rose of food articles such as fruit and vegetables, condiments, spices, fish, arhar, bajra and barley, data shows.

The wholesale price index data is released weekly and considered the benchmark inflation indicator. Inflation rate stood at 6.52 percent in the corresponding week last year.

The ministry of commerce and industry last week revised the inflation rate for the week ended Dec 15 to 3.84 percent from 3.45. The government revises the rate after receiving additional price data.

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