PM hopes inflation will come down further

April 18th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday hoped that inflation would moderate further, though Finance Minister P. Chidamabram asked people not to expect “any miracle” to counter the price rise. “I hope so,” Manmohan Singh responded when reporters asked him if the inflation rate will come down further.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a function to release a commemorative coin to mark the 150th anniversary of India’s First War of Independence in 1857.

On the issue of escalating prices of essential commodities and staple foods, Chidambaram said people must have “patience and should not lose” the nerve.

The inflation for the week ended April 5 was recorded at 7.14 percent, a slight improvement over the previous week’s inflation at 7.41 percent - a three-year high.

“The prices of essential commodities like pulses, edible oils and other food stuff have gone up in the international market owing to their imports by India. In the international market, the inflation and prices of essential commodities have doubled and even trebled.”

“It will take some time before the inflation further moderates. Do not expect any miracles. What can we do if the price of crude oil or urea or other fertilisers goes up in the international market?” the finance minister said.

“The crude oil is costing $115 per barrel. What can we do? When the prices of such goods, which we import, go up in the international market, the domestic prices too come under pressure,” Chidamabaram said.

“Do not jump to any conclusion or panic. Just be patient. Efforts are on to further moderate inflation. We hope the international inflationary trends also moderate, and will have positive impact here too,” he said.

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