Govt looking at options to deal with crude prices: PM

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (UNI) Expressing concern over the steep rise in the crude prices in the international market, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the government was looking at ''various options'' to tide over the situation.

''We are looking at what possibilities exist. I do not want to comment,'' Dr Singh told reporters who wanted him to specify whether there would be any hike in the retail prices of petrol and diesel.

The spiralling prices of crude were a ''cause for concern and to handle it we have to look at various options,'' he said. He was talking to reporters at Rashtrapati Bhavan after Mr Vinod Rai was sworn in as Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

Meanwhile, the Committee on Commodity Prices would meet on January 17 to decide on the proposed hike in the retail prices of petrol and diesel.

Asked about his attending to official work without any holidays ever since he assumed office in May 2004, he merely said ''habits vary.'' UNI SN Mir GC1320

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