'Centre taking steps to control inflation thru fiscal policy'

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Puducherry, Jun 1 (UNI) Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the Centre is taking steps to control inflation and price rise through fiscal policy and administrative measures.

Addressing the party workers at the PCC office here, Mr Chidambaram said the inflation touching 8.1 per cent was a matter of concern.

During the BJP regime, the cost of one barrel of crude oil was only 35 Dollars, which has increased to 135 dollars now. However, the government has taken steps to keep the fuel price under control, he added.

Mr Chidambaram said Rs 71,680 crore farm loans will be written off by the end of this month, benefitting four crore farmers.

Stating that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) was ''not a scheme but an Act,'' he said no government could change it as it will exist till job requirements were there.

A sum of Rs 12,000 crore has been earmarked for NREGP which has been extended to several districts.

Mr Chidambaram exhorted party workers to get prepared for the 2009 Parliamentary elections and the Assembly elections to be held in another two years.

He said the constituencies, where the Congress and its alliance partners had lost in the last elections, should be strengthened and the party should strive to get more seats in Puducherry.

The government should present good governance in the Union Territory by utilsing the enhanced Annual Plan allocation, he added.

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