Govt in exhorting mode: again asks industry to cut prices

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Jaipur, Nov 20 (UNI) The government today repeated its call to industry to bring down prices to help spur demand, notwithstanding the resistance put forth in this regard by India Inc.

Today it was the turn of the Company Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta to make a fervent appeal in this regard to Indian industry.

Sources say the government is adopting a two-pronged approach to pep up demand-- reduce interest rates gradually and persist with industry to cut prices.

It all happened in this histroical pink city, where Mr Gupta--well aware of the comments of industry leaders showing relucatance to yield to Finance Minister P Chidambaram's appeal to this effect at the World Economic Forum, again choose to highlight the issue.

Mr Gupta, hopped on the bandwagon, asking Industry to make the first move.

''Price cuts to revive the economy through boosting the consumer demand and not just sit back and ask for rate cuts,'' Mr Gupta said while responding to Indian Inc demand for cheaper credit.

He was speaking to reporters on the fringes of a five-day 'International Conference on Accountancy Profession--Shining Bridge Between Global Economies' organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

Mr Gupta said while reducing prices may cut profit margins of the companies, but by increasing volumes it will increase the total sales.

Talking about the global financial turmoil, he said it had started as a result of over- enthusiastic lending by foreign banks.

"However, our country is insulated from the crisis due to its tight regulatory system and government's timely intervention,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Gupta expressed the hope that the Company Bill, 2008 will be passed in the Parliament session in December.

UNI SG MP RK2031

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