Essential commodities prices to be monitored closely: Cong

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday welcomed the high GDP growth rate of 7.9 per cent during the second quarter of the year but said prices of essential commodities and food items need to be monitored closely.

"We welcome the encouraging signs in economy shown by the projected growth rate... However, prices of essential food items still need to be monitored closely by the government and along with the state governments, steps need to be taken," party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here.

She said the economy growing by a significant 7.9 per cent in the second quarter, up from 6.1 in the previous quarter, gives a clear indication of "success" of the measures taken by the government, particularly stimulus packages.

The spokesperson said despite global downturn, the growth rate has defied predictions to project a much more positive outlook.

On rising prices of food items and essential commodities, Natarajan said "strict action needs to be taken against hoarding and steps for strengthening the Public Distribution System".

She expressed confidence that with the measures taken by the government, prices of food will remain stable and in the reach of the common man.

To a query if the party was satisfied with the steps taken by the UPA government to check the prices, she said, "I do believe, the UPA government is taking all steps".