Price situation worrying, govt can use administrative measures: FM

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) Finance Minister P Chidambaram today described the inflation rate touching 7.83 per cent as ''worrying and a matter of concern" and vowed that the government reserves the right to deploy administrative measures to bring prices under check.

Mr Chidambaram told reporters on the sidelines of a function here that the basic increase in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was a result of hike in the prices of the Group 'fuel, power, light and lubricants' which was largely a result of soaring global crude oil prices.

Besides, increase in prices of lignite was also attributable to the high oil prices. This has given a spurt to increase in prices of manufactured goods.

Mr Chidambaram said the increase in prices of synthetic yarn and agricultural implements have also shown an upward movement which propelled the prices of manufactured goods.

He said the government was expecting the prices of steel and cement to moderate, but the silver lining was fall in prices of primary and food articles.

The Minister began his remarks on the inflation data put out by the government earlier in the day by saying that "these were difficult times." He, however, said there was hope that the price situation will stabilise.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI), the most widely watched measure relating to prices, rose by 7.83 per cent for the week ended on May 3, the highest since November 2004.

A worried government has been trying to combat inflation by following a tight monetary policy and restricting exports and enhancing domestic supplies through cheaper imports. .

UNI MP GS SR RN1812

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