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HT reports

As the government grapples with high prices of essential commodities, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today held a meeting with senior ministers to find ways to tame food inflation which has crossed 18 per cent. The meeting attended by by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia remained inconclusive.

“Another round of discussion may be held tomorrow,” a source said.

Food inflation rose to 18.32 per cent for the week ended December 25, due to rise in prices of food items like onion, milk and meat.

Retail price of onion continues to rule high at Rs 55-60 per kg in major parts of the country due to sluggish supply.

Food inflation has been fuelled by high prices of vegetables, fruits,meat, eggs and milk.

[Agriculture minister Sharad] Pawar said yesterday that there was not much the government could do in regard to vegetable prices.

This must be a wire-service news, because the text of the report from DNA is identical. Extra information comes from a short report in Moneycontrol:

The points discussed in Prime Minister’s meeting include recommendations discussed by a committee of Secretaries that met on January 6 on the food price issue.

It is learnt the Prime Minster discussed prices as well as administrative measures. The recommendations included doing away with import duty on sugar as well banning on sugar export.

The gathering would also discuss import norms for milk products and may be asked to lower local taxes in order to curb price rise in these commodities.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

January 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

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