Inflation to come down in a couple of days : Congress

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI) Facing all-round criticism from friends and foes alike for the spiralling prices of essential commodities, the Congress today expressed the hope that inflation would come down in a "couple of days" following a series of steps taken by the government and the coming into force of the Union Budget 2008-09 which had several in-built measures to arrest the trend.

"The Government is considering both fiscal regulatory and supply side measures to rein in inflation,"AICC General Secretary in charge of Media Veerappa Moily told mediapersons, while pointing out that the Group of Ministers on prices would review the price situation of rice, wheat and edible and other essential commodities.

"Yes, price rise is a matter of grave concern for the UPA government. We have the responsibility to curtail prices of essential commodities. We are determined to bring down the prices in the next couple of days," he said.

In this context, he pointed out that many proposals in the Budget for 2008-09 were targeted to reduce price rise. However, they will yield results in a couple of days with the Budgetary proposals coming into force from tomorrow (April one).

Mr Moily said the Party had asked the government to go strong against black marketeers and hoarders.

He said though the UPA government had been making concerted efforts to keep a check on the price rise, external factors such as a world-wide inflationary atmosphere, crop failure, and changes in climatic conditions had put a spanner in the works.

In this context, he pointed out that though the increase in international crude oil price was 203 per cent during May 2004-March 2008, the price of petrol in Delhi had gone up only by 39 per cent during this period.

"The UPA government has maintained the oil prices with a view to arresting inflation and giving relief to the common man." Mr Moily said the current commodity price induced headline inflation of 6.68 per cent was disquieting and was a supply side phenomenon induced by global pressures.

He said China's inflation rate of 8.7 per cent for February 2008 had been its highest in the last 12 years. Pork and vegetable prices had risen by a staggering 63.4 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.

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