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Government may announce measures to bring down prices


New Delhi : The government may announce some measures that could bring down food inflation further, official sources indicated Thursday, a day after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and other senior government officials to finalise action on the issue.

Wednesday’s discussions were a follow-up to the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The finance minister held closed-door discussions with Pawar, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and other senior officials.

Among the measures that could be suggested Thursday are withdrawal of some decisions related to food items like export of 500,000 tonnes of sugar and hiking prices of wheat and rice sold through the public distribution system to families above the poverty line.

According to latest figures released by the commerce and industry ministry, India’s food inflation dipped to 16.91 percent for the week ended Jan 1, compared to 18.32 percent in the previous week.

After five straight weeks of rise in food inflation rate, based on wholesale prices, the fall in the index was because of some tempering in prices of onions, from the peak of Rs.70 per kg.

Prices of other essential commodities like pulses and food grains too came down, according to data made available by the commerce and industry ministry.