We will make every effort to check inflation: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, Apr 16 (UNI) Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the Centre would make every possible effort to check rising inflation, including adoption of monetary, fiscal and supply side measures, and called upon state governments also to make endeavours in this direction, including taking action against hoarders and profiteers under the Essential commodities Act.

''We will do our best to check inflation by following a three pronged approach -- taking fiscal, monetary and supply side measures. However, it is also incumbent upon various state Governments to do their bit by acting against hoarders and profiteers under the Essential Commodities Act in order to ensure that the foodgrains reach farmers,''the Finance Minister said during an intervention in the Rajya Sabha during a short duration discussion on the rise of essential commodities in the country.

Noting that inflation was not something limited to India only but a global phenomenon, Mr Chidambaram said,'' All countries, whether with better or poor governance than India, have inflation. Even a country like Singapore has been witnessing a high level of inflation in recent months.'' Outlining efforts by the Government after inflation rose to a three year high of 7.41 per cent recently, Mr Chidambaram said,''after inflation rose, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter to all Chief Ministers to take measures to check it. The Prime Minister is also contemplating holding a meeting with the Chief Ministers on the issue. Further, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has been talking to the Chief Ministers virtually every day.'' ''We will make every effort to check inflation, but the key is not to take knee-jerk measures,''the Minister said.

He, however, regretted the lack of adequate action on part of the state Governments to check inflation, Mr Chidambaram said,''the state Governments have a big role to play in checking inflation. However, they are not exercising their power to do this. For example, while many state Governments have adopted measures like imposing licencing requirements and stock limits on sale of commodities, the level of prosecution has been woefully low, he added.

''The state governments need to take strong action against hoarders and profiteers under the Essential Commodities Act. What is the difficulty in carrying out frequent raids and checks to ascertain whether the licence requirements or stock limits are being complied with.'' He said the Delhi Government recently took action against hoarders and the results were there for all to see.


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