Cong hails FM's appeal for oil band mechanism

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New Delhi, June 23 (UNI) The Congress today welcomed Finance Minister P Chidambaram's suggestion for evolving an oil band mechanism to regulate oil prices, saying it would help in checking inflation.

''It's a good initiative.... It would help in controlling inflation,'' Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

''If OPEC and oil producing countries agree to it, then it will affect other economies, including India's,'' he said.

He expressed the hope that inflation would come down this week after the measures taken by the Government.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi had asked the state governments to take action against hoarders and black marketeers.

Mr Chidambaram, at a meeting in Saudi Arabia's port city of Jeddah yesterday, had suggested that oil consuming countries must guarantee that oil prices would not fall below an agreed level and oil producing countries must guarantee that oil prices would not rise above a guaranteed level. The market forces, he said, should be allowed to determine prices in the band between these levels.

UNI YJ RR ND1816

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