Govt to take all measures to bring down prices:PM

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New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asserted that the government would take all necessary measures to rein in spiralling prices and control inflation, saying tangible results would be seen in the next few weeks.

Attributing the rise in prices of essential commodities to "imported inflation," he told mediapersons that the government was concerned over the trend and that was the reason why the Cabinet Committee on Prices met last week and took many crucial decisions.

"We must recognise that the imported inflation has had an impact on the prices," he said at Rashtrapathi Bhavan after the swearing-in of seven new Ministers of State, pointing to the increasing prices of petroleum products, food and vegetables worldwide.

In this context, he highlighted the increase in the price of crude oil to 110 dollars per barrel from 38 dollars per barrel when the BJP-led NDA was in power.

The NDA had hiked the prices of petroleum products manifold during 1998-2004. But the increase during the past four years had only been marginal, Dr Singh said.

Likewise, the prices of food supplied under the Public Distribution System (PDS) had not been allowed to go up during the past four years. "We have also not increased the prices of kerosene, LPG and fertilizers," Dr Singh said while underlining that the government had a lot of difficulties.

Asked if he could specify by when the prices would come down, the Prime Minister said "I cannot set a time frame. May be, it will take a couple of weeks." To a question on the Indo-US nuclear deal, Dr Singh said "We are hopeful of the deal...We are in the process of discussion with the Left parties." Ruling out the possibility of an early Lok Sabha poll, he said "Our government will last its full term. Our government is stable." When a reporter asked him if this was the last expansion of his Council of Ministers, Dr Singh said "as of now, it is yes. But I cannot say anything for sure." Asked what was the highlight of today's expansion, he said "we have inducted young and experienced new faces." UNI PMD/SH AT RAI2050

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