March 13, 2010

Govt defends Price hikes

India's robust IIP numbers also saw the finance minister more enthused and upbeat about India's growth prospects. Even as finance minister Pranab Mukherhjee rejoiced the signs of growth consolidation, he tried to soothe concerns on rising inflation.

Good IIP numbers have brought cheer in the north block and Mukherhjee is beaming with confidence of a robust growth in the economy, buoyed by higher production numbers for at least four consecutive months.

Mukherjee on Friday asserted that the Indian economy has left behind uncertainty and the pickup is not just on account of government spending.

"The economy is seeing a turnaround. The situation of uncertainty on economy is no longer relevant and growth of 7.2 per cent GDP growth in FY10 is reality," he said.

He further used the good news cushion to defend his budget that has been criticised for elements that will further accentuate inflation in an already high inflationary environment.

The finance minister conceded that inflation for March quarter could even be higher than 8.56 per cent but defended government's decision to raise fuel prices.

"I do not have any carpet, though I would love to. But with the global crude prices rising at this rate, we had no option," he said.

Even as the finance minister promises all action to check inflation, the unabated rise in inflation has increased expectations of monetary policy action, while both the finance minister and the country cherished the India’s growth.

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