Steps to combat inflation to be announced soon: FM

Steps to combat inflation to be announced soon: FM

New Delhi: Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday there is no need for unnecessary panic on inflation.

Mukherjee said that the government will announce more steps to contain inflation later in the day.

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“Last evening, it (steps to check inflation) was finalized. I think it will be issued today," he said answering questions on Wednesday’s meeting to check rising food prices.

“We have analyzed the situation. We have indicated what further steps we are going to take. We have also indicated that there should not be any unnecessary panic," he said.

When asked whether the government will be able to contain surging inflation, the finance minister said, “of course".

Mukherjee further said that within the food basket, the prices of items like vegetables including onion, fruits, milk, egg and meat are becoming dearer.

Food inflation in the year to 1 January stood at 16.91%, data on Thursday showed, easing marginally from 18.3% recorded in late December, which was the highest in more than a year.

Following Tuesday’s high-level meeting called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on price rise, Mukherjee met Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar.

The meeting deliberated on the steps to contain price rise, especially of the essential kitchen items like onion and other vegetables.

High food inflation is a major headache for a government already battling multi-billion dollar corruption cases that have emboldened the Opposition.