Strengthen PDS to tackle price rise: Pranab

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 15:15

New Delhi: Expressing concern over price rise,
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said it was mainly due
to shortage of essential commodities like pulses, sugar and
edible oil and suggested strengthening of the public
distribution system (PDS) to provide relief to the common man.

"Price rise is a matter of concern as it affects the
common man the most. This situation is mainly due to shortage
of essential commodities like pulses, sugar and edible oil. To
ameliorate the effect the inflation, PDS needs to be
strengthened," he told the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.

He said pulses are produced by very few countries like
Pakistan and Bangladesh and as they consume most of the
produce, there is no scope of exporting pulses to other
countries.

"Availability of sugar is 16 million tonnes but the
requirement is 23 million tonnes, similarly availability of
edible oil is 92 million tonnes while the requirement is
158.64 million tonnes," the minister said.

When Brinda Karat (CPI-M) wanted to know the steps the
government proposed to take to tide over sugar shortage, he
said if there is shortage of sugar then raw sugar would be
imported.

He said inflation has no direct correlation with economic
growth and the current situation has arisen due to genuine
imbalance between demand and supply.

"However, at the same time we are encouraged by the 7.9
per cent economic growth during the July-September period. If
this continues, then we hope to grow, but we need to be
cautious," he said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 15:15

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