The inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers is expected to decline rapidly in view of the fact that the prices of essential food commodities have started declining, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Wednesday. He hoped that the government would tide over the problem of high inflation within the next few months.

Inaugurating the national conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, the Union Finance Minister said the prediction of a good monsoon was vital for the economy as it would bring down the prices of essential food items. CII President Venu Srinivasan presided over the conference. Underscoring how inflation eroded real income and hurt the marginalised and poor segments, the Finance Minister hoped that the government would “beat the high inflation in the coming months” as it had planned meticulously the economic recovery in the past one year.

Taking into consideration the industrial growth, particularly in the last six months, Mr. Mukherjee expected the GDP growth to be around 8.5 per cent for 2009-10, despite unfavourable monsoon.

As for the current financial year, Mr. Mukherjee estimated a strong growth in view of the improved business confidence and expected to beat the IMF's projected growth of 8.8 per cent in 2010-11 and 8.4 per cent in 2011-12. “I expect even better performance,” he added Mr. Mukherjee, in reply to queries, said the revised draft of the Direct Taxes Code would be put on the website shortly after taking into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders. As regards introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Mr. Mukherjee said it required absolute consensus of all stakeholders as without that the major constitutional reform was not possible.

New CII President

Jubilant Organosys co-Chairman and Managing Director Hari S. Bhartia on Wednesday took over as the new President of the CII for 2011-12.

Associated with IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur in various capacities, Mr. Bhartia succeeds Venu Srinivasan after the conclusion of the national conference.

Tata Steel Vice-Chairman B. Muthuraman was elected Vice-President of the CII.

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