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Whatever can be done will be done: PM

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Though he refused to commit himself to a time-frame for the prices to decline, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday was hopeful of the situation easing in a couple of weeks.

In an informal interaction with the media at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, he described the increase in inflation as an “imported” phenomenon as it was the result of a rise in world food and fuel prices.

Dr. Singh also sought to draw attention to the fact that the government had not allowed the prices of commodities sold through the Public Distribution System to go up.

In particular, he mentioned kerosene; pointing out that the price of crude had gone up from $38 a barrel during the National Democratic Alliance regime to the present $110 a barrel. “Whatever can be done will be done, I assure you,” he said.

The Cabinet Committee on Prices had met to take stock of the situation. “We are all concerned,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came just a couple of hours after the Left parties decided to join hands with the United National Progressive Alliance to launch a broadside against the government for its failure to contain inflation.

Nuclear deal

Notwithstanding the Left parties’ opposition to the India-U.S. nuclear deal, Dr. Singh exuded confidence that the differences with the allies would be sorted out.

“I am hopeful. The process of discussions with our colleagues in the Left are on,” the Prime Minister said.

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