Prime minister rules out price controls

May 19th, 2008 - 7:28 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday ruled out price controls to rein in inflation that has a scaled a 44-month high, but assured more administrative steps to ease the burden on the average citizen. During a meeting with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Reserve Bank of India Governor Y.V. Reddy here, the prime minister said the imposition of price controls would send a wrong signal to the world regarding India’s economic reforms.

Yet, he hoped that steps taken by his government and the central bank over the past month - such as the ban on export of some commodities and duty cuts on some imports - would take effect soon and bring down the inflation rate from the present 7.83 percent.

Imposition of price controls has been among the demands made by the opposition as also the Left parties - that prop the UPA government - to rein in prices.

The prime minister maintained that the focus of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was on controlling inflation without interrupting India’s high economic growth of 8-to-9 percent over the past four years.

The meeting was called to review the price situation in the country, which has become a major source of worry for the government that is entering an election year.

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