Fight against inflation should not hurt economic growth : PM

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New Delhi, Aug 15 (UNI) Asserting that 'determined' measures were being taken to bring prices under reasonable control, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said his government was very cautious against any measure hurting the economic growth sustained at nearly 9 per cent in the last four years.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort here on the occasion of the 62nd Independence Day, he said there was a sharp increase in the rate of investment in the last four years, contributing to an increase in the rate of growth of the economy.

"For the first time in history, we have had four years of nearly 9.0 per cent economic growth. India is among the world's fastest growing economies." At the same time, he said, the country was facing the challenge of inflation. "I know how much each one of you is concerned about the recent rise in prices. " Dr Singh said the inflation was basically due to external factors.

The prices of food, fuel and other commodities had been rising all over the world and in global markets. In many developing countries, the rate of inflation was double of that in India.

Asserting that his government had worked hard to ensure that the rate of inflation was not as high as in many other countries, he said special measures were taken to insulate the poorer sections of society from the full impact of rising food and fuel prices.

In this context, he pointed out that the government had not raised the prices of kerosene and fertilizers and did not raise the issue price of wheat and rice under the Public Distribution System.

Highlighting the 'determined measures' taken by the government to bring prices under reasonable control, he urged all Chief Ministers to improve and strengthen the PDS to ensure availability of essential commodities to the common man at reasonable prices.

"The Reserve Bank of India is moderating the growth of money supply in the country so that inflation can be controlled. However, while making these efforts, we should avoid doing anything which hurts our growth." UNI SH PK AS0926

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