Manmohan Singh to chair meeting on price rise today

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will chair the Cabinet Committee on Prices (CCP) meeting that will be held on Wednesday to discuss the issue of spiraling food prices, including sugar prices.

Dr Singh is expected to take decisions on increasing the availability of sugar and other commodities, to contain food inflation.

Food inflation had soared to 20 percent since the first week of December.

The meeting was earlier scheduled to be held on Tuesday evening, but was postponed.

Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who is facing severe criticism from the opposition for being unable to check spiraling food prices, has said that his ministry could move a proposal for allowing raw sugar, lying in Kandla Port, to be processed in the mills of Uttar Pradesh.

Pawar has also proposed off-loading of more wheat in the open market.

The politics over prices began with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) questioning the economic skills of Dr Singh in controlling the prices.

The BJP has decided to launch a countrywide campaign on the price rise from January 18.

The BJP has even asked Pawar to check prices or resign from his post.

Pawar had earlier said sugar production has been low, and the government has consequently decided to import about 40 lakh tons of raw sugar.

Around two million tons of sugar have already arrived in the country and are being processed, he added.

There are reports that the Centre may extend the deadline for import of duty-free white sugar beyond March 31 to augment domestic supply and curb the rising price. (ANI)

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