New Delhi, June2 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that rising crude oil prices could adversely affect the Indian economy.
Inaugurating the Annual General Meeting of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) here, Dr. Singh appealed to the political parties to arrive at a wider consensus on the pricing issue, and said, "We cannot allow the subsidy bill to rise any further."
Dr. Singh said the Government has not increased the price of kerosene in the past four years and LPG and diesel prices were "only marginally raised. Even petrol does not fully reflect the world trend. This situation cannot continue forever."
Crude oil prices stood at 127 dollars per barrel on Monday.
Referring to the high inflation rate, which has passed the eight per cent mark, he said the Government is focused on "reversing the recent surge in the headline inflation rate".
Wholesale price-based inflation for the week ended May 17 stood at 8.1 per cent, against 7.82 per cent in the previous week.
"It has been our endeavour to tame inflationary expectations without hurting the rhythm of the growth process and also to protect the weaker sections against rising prices," he said.
Expressing satisfaction over the measures taken by the Government, the Prime Minister said, "Mix policies we have adopted will yield results once the full impact of normal monsoon is felt".
The Prime Minister was confident that the Indian economy would enjoy the growth momentum of eight to nine per cent despite the global slow down. Many sectors of Indian economy are today stronger and more competitive than ever before.
Expressing hope that the country will survive the challenges of the global melt down, Dr. Singh emphasised that, while the Government is committed to stabilise the macro-economic situation, it will never return to the era of blind controls.
Referring to infrastructure, agriculture and education as key priority sectors, he said India has built the base for accelerated growth and will emerge as one of the growth engines for the world economy.