Puducherry, Jun 2: Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Sunday that liberalisation of imports, banning exports and a cut in excise and customs duties are among the steps taken by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government to control inflation in the country.
He said rising inflation due to the high global price of crude oil, was a cause of concern. "An unprecedented situation is now being witnessed on the price front," he said. The government is fully committed to control price rise and suggestions were welcome to inject more measures to keep prices on hold, he said, addressing Congress party workers at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office on his one-day visit to Puducherry.
He said the economy has grown by nine per cent, which had been "out of bounds" for the erstwhile BJP-led NDA government, and added that the rural poor have gained from several anti-poverty measures initiated by the Government. He said that initiating the National Rural Employees Guarantee Act (NREGA) was a "sacrosanct step" which could never be disturbed for next two decades or so.
Chidambaram said that the Government's target to sanction Rs 2.80 lakh crore under farm loans this year would be increased to around Rs three lakh crore. Waiver of farm loans to benefit 71,680 farmers would be done by this month end. As far as Puducherry is concerned, around 30,800 farmers would benefit from the loan waiver scheme, he added.