Rising prices a major challenge, says Pranab Mukherjee

New Delhi, Jan 14 (ANI): Stating that rising food and commodity prices are major challenges facing Central Government, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that he would meet his state counterparts on January 19 to discuss ways to bringing down inflation.

Talking to reporters here, Mukherjee said: "On January 19 I am having a meeting with the state finance ministers in connection with ensuing budget...I will also raise this inflation issue in the meeting. This is a continuing battle."

"Food inflation at this level is not acceptable and we are trying our best to control it along with the cooperation of state governments," he added.

Mukherjee further said inflation is an economic phenomenon, which may have monetary factors behind it.

"It could be caused by mismatch between demand and supply or international scenario such as crude prices," he added.

He further said he had also written letters to states asking them to remove supply bottlenecks in food products.

Meanwhile, inflation shot up to 8.43 per cent in December, from 7.48 per cent in the previous month, as prices of certain food and non-food items continued to show an upward trend.

As per the whole sale Price index data released here toady, prices of food, non-food articles and minerals shot up by 16.46 per cent on an annual basis.

However, prices of certain food items declined on a year-on-year. While wheat became cheaper by 5.09 per cent, pulses fell by 10.89 per cent and potatoes went down by 26.57 per cent.

During the month, fuel and power prices went up by 11.19 per cent, while manufactured goods became expensive by 4.46 per cent on an annual basis.

Within manufactured products, sugar prices eased by 9.91 per cent and leather and leather goods by 1.23 per cent on an annual basis.

The Government on Thursday announced several measures to contain price rise including de-hoarding operations and closely monitoring export and import of food items. (ANI)

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