PM urges for solution to hunger, malnutrition

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On board Air India One, Jul 7 (UNI) Observing a close linkage between the spiralling prices of fuel and food, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called upon world leaders to focus their attention on working out a solution to the problem of hunger and malnutrition.

During an interaction with the media on way to Japan to attend the G-8 summit, Dr Singh said India was, however, well placed and could take care of its needs in view of record production of 22 million tonnes of wheat and 26 million tonnes of rice.

He added that removal of hunger and malnourishment called for a global focus and he would discuss the issue with leaders of major economies of the world during his wide-ranging multilateral and bilateral dialogue at the summit.

Calling for reforms in international financial institutions, the Prime Minister, who is an accomplished economist, said leaders in these institutions should pool their heads together to find out as to what was surging the world oil prices.

Various factors, which lead to the spike in petroleum prices, have been described but no study has been able to pinpoint the cause of the surge, he said, warning that if rise in fuel and food prices was not checked it could destablise the world economy.

Dr Singh said international financial institutions should know that it is Asia which is generating major savings, which were being ploughed into the rest of the world.

Leaders of these institutions should pool their wisdom to find lacunas in the world financial system and suggest reforms to rebuild the system which has come under acute strain because of the spike in fuel prices, he added.

The Prime Minister said the fuel price hike has led to rise in food prices because of rising use of biofuels which has led to shrinkage in areas for foodgrain production and also shortage in foodgrains as such, because of less production.

UNI SAA SKB BD2013

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