Govt has no magic lamp to control inflation: FM

New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjeetoday said steps have been taken to tame inflation but thegovernment has no magic lamp to bring it down immediately.

"You cannot expect that there is any magic wand or likeAlladin''s magic lamp that you rub it and your problem issolved," Mukherjee told reporters here.

He said the Reserve Bank has taken steps, includingtightening of the monetary policy, to control inflation.

Driven by high prices of fruits, milk, meat, eggs,food inflation crossed 17 per cent for the week ended January22. Headline inflation shot up to 8.43 per cent in Decemberfrom 7.48 per cent a month ago.

While the Indian economy is projected to grow by 8.8-9.0per cent this fiscal, inflationary concerns are looming overthe growth prospects.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too said today thatinflation posed a serious threat to the growth momentumaffecting the poor and vulnerable sections and favouredwaiving mandi, octroi and local taxes, which impedethe smooth movement of essential commodities.

In its third quarterly monetary policy review on January25, the RBI had increased both short term lending (repo) andborrowing (reverse repo) rates by 25 basis points to mop upexcess liquidity from the system.

Besides, the government also took steps like banningexports of onion and abolished duty on its imports. On anannual basis, onion prices rose by over 130 per cent in thethird week of January, although recently they have moderated.

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