`Agri ministry can`t be blamed for price rise`
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said policies to control inflation are discussed and formulated at the "highest level" involving participation of Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
Pune: Absolving his ministry of the
responsibility for price rise, Agriculture Minister Sharad
Pawar today said policies to control inflation are discussed
and formulated at the "highest level" involving participation
of Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
"It is a collective decision-making process in which
inflation control measures are discussed at the highest level,
including Prime Minister, Pranab Mukherjee and economic
adviser to the PM. We gather state-wise information for
guidelines to form a policy," Pawar told reporters at Manchar,
about 100 km from Pune.
Responding to a suggestion that Congress was targeting
NCP on this issue, Pawar only said, "It is not right to blame
agriculture ministry for the price rise."
"The responsibility of agriculture ministry is to see
that adequate production of wheat, rice, sugar and oilseeds is
taking place in the country. Now, we have stocks for the next
two to three years. In India, wheat, rice and sugar are
cheaper, compared to other countries," the NCP chief said.
When asked about the proposed meeting of Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee with the state finance ministers to discuss
price-rise, Pawar, who attended a function at a dairy plant at
Manchar, said, "It could be a pre-budget discussion."
Replying to another query, Pawar said the ban on onion
exports would be reviewed when the situation warrants it.
On milk prices, he said the hike was due to the gap
between demand and supply. The minister said the government
was considering offering incentives for development of dairy