Manmohan Singh predicts improvement in spiraling prices

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New Delhi, Feb 5(ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday told the Congress Working Committee (CWC) discussing the spiraling price rise that the situation was of high concern, but there will be improvement.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi, said: "The price rise issue was discussed at the meeting, and 18 people expressed their views on it and gave their suggestions. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee also spoke on it and expressed hope that the condition will become normal soon."

"At the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister also spoke on the issue and expressed his concern. He said that things are improving and soon there would be more improvement," he added.

The meeting was presided by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and was also attended 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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