Congress optimistic about price moderation in three weeks

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New Delhi, May 9 (UNI) Notwithstanding the headline inflation touching a 42-month high at 7.61 per cent, the Congress today assured that the prices would moderate in the next three weeks.

AICC Spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons that the figure of 7.61 per cent was for the week ended April 26.

He said the impact of the Finance Bill, which was passed by Parliament on April 30, and several other measures initiated had started making impact and the same would be felt in the next two to three weeks.

Mr Ahmed said the UPA government had taken several measures in the past one month to bring down prices. Steel producers had agreed to reduce the prices by Rs 400 per metric tonne. Cement manufacturers had also agreed to do the same. Future trading in respect of many commodities had already been banned.

Though the Centre had been taking several measures to contain inflation, the state governments also had a role to play.

In this context, he cited the case of 13 states where the rate of inflation had been less than 6 per cent. ''Those who had taken effective action against hoarders and blackmarketeers have been suffcessful in containing inflation.'' Referring to the BJP's campaign against the government on inflation, Mr Ahmed said the Opposition NDA should first look at the rate of inflation prevalent at a time when it was in power, rather than making a hue and cry on the issue of inflation.

He pointed out that the inflation rate hovered between six and eight per cent during the NDA rule in 2000-01.

For 48 out of 52 weeks during 2000-01, inflation was over six per cent, in 22 of those weeks, inflation was over seven per cent, and in 12 of those weeks, it was over eight per cent.

UNI SH SMJ CS1828

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