Good monsoon will bring down commodity prices: Montek

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New Delhi, June 13 (UNI) Notwithstanding the inflation rate touching an all time high of 8.75 per cent, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today exuded confidence that a good monsoon would control prices of commodities.

''Today, inflation is on the rise and there is no denying that. It has become a major challenge for the Government and we are taking all possible steps to control it,'' Dr Ahluwalia said on the sidelines of a Panchayati Raj convention here.

Good agricultural growth, thanks to good monsoon, would bring down prices of commodities, he said.

''Production and procurement of wheat have witnessed a great high in this season and if we have a good rainfall, then production of rice will also see an increase, which will in turn bring down the inflation rate to some extent,'' he said.

Dr Ahluwalia saw no reason as to why Finance Minister P Chidambaram should put in his papers, as was being suggested in some quarters, attributing the rising food prices and the rising general price index to international reasons.

He said inflation was touching the lives of people in many countries, saying there were countries where the price rise was higher than that in India.

He said the government's decision to increase Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy was a step in the right direcion.

UNI GS MP RAI1801

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