Government doing its best to control prices: Kamal Nath

June 17th, 2008 - 7:19 am ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
Oxford, June 16 (IANS) The government is doing its best to control runaway “imported inflation”, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said Monday. “This is imported inflation - whether it is the prices of food or crude oil it is imported. In addition, India’s high rate of growth is leading to stresses in supply-side management,” Nath told IANS on the sidelines of a conference on India and globalisation at the Oxford University.

“We are doing our best to keep prices down, but there is only so much that the government can do.

“At the end of the day, India cannot control global prices. India is not to blame for world prices,” he added.

Speaking at the conference earlier, Kamal Nath made a strong plea for ensuring that the fruits of economic globalisation benefit the poorest in India - some 700 million people who, he said, live on incomes of less than two dollars (about Rs.85) per day.

“How do they perceive globalisation? Does globalisation touch the hearts of the nearly one billion (poor) people in India?”

He said it was necessary to correct “structural flaws in global trade”, particularly in the area of agriculture, for the poor of the world to benefit from globalisation, warning that failure to strike a deal at the ongoing Doha Round of world trade talks will “perpetuate those flaws”.

“It would be one of the greatest injuries to the global trading system,” Kamal Nath told the conference on Globalisation and Developing Economies: Concerns of Inclusion, organised jointly by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and Oxford University.

Also speaking at the conference were Oxford chancellor Lord Chris Patten, Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma, Indian High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, Bharti Enterprises MD Rajan Bharti Mittal, British Foreign Office Minister Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Ficci Secretary General Amit Mitra, Media Adviser to the Indian premier Sanjaya Baru and Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta.

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