Congress Working Committee discuss price rise issue

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New Delhi, Feb 5 (ANI): The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Friday discussed the spiraling price rise at a meeting, after the Congress President Sonia Gandhi declared it a matter of 'high concern'.

Gandhi presided over the meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and party general secretaries.

This was the first meeting in the New Year, which was aimed at dealing with the issue of food inflation.

The meeting was deemed significant as it is being held a day before a Chief Ministers conference convened by Dr. Singh.he meeting was also being held just three weeks before the presentation of the General Budget.

Congress party has faced flak from various opposition parties over the rising prices of essential commodities.

The wholesale price index rose 7.3 percent in December from a year earlier, its highest since November 2008, and accelerated from a 4.8 percent gain in November.

The rise was driven by near 20 percent jump in food prices, which rose on weak monsoon rains and flooding in parts of the country, but inflation in manufacturing products picked up to 5.2 percent from four percent in November, a sign that inflationary pressures were spreading to other sectors of the economy.

Sugar, in particular, has been a problem, with Congress party caught in the middle of competing demands from consumers who want lower prices while cane farmers seek higher prices for their produce.

The supply situation deteriorated further in recent months when Uttar Pradesh, seeking to help cane farmers, banned processing raw sugar, jamming 750,000 tonnes of raw sugar at ports. (ANI)

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