The Centre will hold a meeting with Chief Ministers on January 27 on the issue of surging prices of essential commodities, which continued to be costly, despite food inflation easing a bit.

The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, official sources said here.

Earlier, the states had demanded that the Centre convenes a meeting with Chief Ministers to devise a combined strategy to bring down the rising food prices.

The Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that the states were not lifting food stocks allotted to them for the purpose of public distribution system at a satisfactory level.

The meeting assumes importance as food prices continued to be high, even as their rate of rise has come down during the recent weeks.

As per the data released today, food inflation declined to 16.81 during the week ended January 9, from 17.28 a week ago.

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