PM sees price stability by Mar,but says he isn''t an astrologer

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New Delhi, Jan 19(PTI) Under attack for surging inflation,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today exuded confidence thatprices would stabilise by March but said certain factors werebeyond the control of the government.

Refusing to hazard a guess on inflation numbers, he said,"I am not an astrologer. But I am confident that the pricesituation would be brought under control... We will be able tobring price stability by March."

Hitting the common man hard, the overall inflation forDecember, 2010 went up to 8.43 per cent while the foodinflation stood a high level of 16.91 per cent for the weekended January 1.

The Opposition is up in arms against the government andhas accused that an economist Prime Minister have failed tocheck rising prices.

The price situation got worsened after prices of onion,tomato and other vegetables spiralled and these are selling atRs 50-60 a kg in retail markets.

Frequent upward revision of petrol prices by oil companieshave also added to the woes of the people.

Singh said, "There are certain factors which are beyondour control. Despite the problem, I am confident that we willbe able to bring price stability by March."

Inflation has brought in a double whammy for the commonman who is not only made to pay more for his daily needs butburdened with high interest rates on borrowings as well.

To rein in rising inflation, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has been tightening the monetary policy by raising keyinterest rates. It is expected that the RBI may further raisekey rates when its reviews the credit policy on January 25. TIMS PC SKB

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