Emphasising that controlling inflation is the government’s top priority, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said rising prices are as a result of global factors like high commodity and oil rates.

“Controlling rising prices is the primary responsibility of any government... Sometimes, we have been confronted with a situation in which the reasons for rising prices lay outside the country. The prices of petroleum products, food grains and edible oil have risen steeply in international markets in recent times,” Dr. Singh said in his Independence Day address to the nation.

Inflation, particularly of food articles, has been persistently high for several months. Both general and food inflation figures are near double digits, causing hardships to the common man and leading to high cost of borrowing that affects the economic activity.

Barring the past few weeks, commodity and crude prices have been rising in global markets, affecting the Indian economy which largely depends on imports for meeting its oil requirements.

Food inflation for the last week ended July was 9.90 per cent, while the general inflation was ruling at 9.44 per cent in June.

“Our country is passing through a phase of sustained high inflation,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “I wish to assure you that we are continuously monitoring the situation to find out what new steps can be taken to arrest rising prices.

“Finding a solution to the problem will be our topmost priority in the coming months,” Dr. Singh said.

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