Food inflation a problem but growth important, says Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (ANI): Accepting that food inflation has been a problem, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said the government did not want to sacrifice the growth process as "it would not do the country any good."

During his interaction with top television editors of the country, Dr. Singh said: " Food inflation has been at a record high in recent months touching the 17 per cent mark because of high vegetable prices."

He further said that inflation would moderate to seven per cent by the end of this fiscal.

The Prime Minister said that the government had no control over some international events that were adding to the high inflation.

Dr Singh also mentioned that the rising oil, food and commodity prices across the globe are adding to the high inflation in the country.

He said that the economy was in good shape and the country will grow at 8.5 per cent this year. He also said that the way India tackled the financial crisis was encouraging.

Inflation declined marginally to 8.23 per cent in January from 8.43 per cent in the previous month, as prices of certain commodities like wheat, pulses and sugar eased, although essential items like onion and other vegetables continue to remain dearer.

However, vegetable and fruits continued to remain expensive. On an annual basis, vegetable prices rose by 65 per cent, and onion prices nearly doubled. Also, fruits became costly by 15.01 per cent and egg, meat and fish by 15.09 percent.

Overall, primary articles became costly by 17.28 per cent with food articles rising 15.65 per cent. In the non-food articles category, fibre prices rose by 48 per cent on an annual basis.

Prices of fuel and power shot up by 11.41 per cent, with petrol rising 27.37 per cent on an year-on-year basis. However, among manufactured items, sugar prices fell by 15 per cent, while edible oils turned costlier by 7.16 per cent. (ANI)

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